Community seed banks are a central pillar of the project CROPS4HD to increase accessibility of neglected and underutilised crops as well as farmers’ varieties. In Latin America, SWISSAID has been working with community seed banks for 15 years. Therefore, the project decided to capitalise this experience in a South-South exchange
On October 12, 2022, IPES-Food, SWISSAID, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, Alliance Bioversity-CIAT, AFSA, Agroecology Coalition and Biovision jointly organized a side event at the 50th meeting of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). 160 people from all continents followed the rich speeches and lively discussion in person or online.
A one-week fair, the Agricultural Exhibition, took place in various locations in Tanzania, where farmers and other agricultural stakeholders were put in the spotlight, providing them an opportunity to share their concrete activities and inputs on the agricultural sector with the general public. More broadly, it enabled awareness-raising to the policy makers, community, and other stakeholders on the contribution of Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS) and availability of seeds in the country.
Promoting change through participatory activities is one of the key goals of CROPS4HD. For this, we conduct a concrete approach for the PUSH implementing aspect of the project: the Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS). In India, the first training supervised by expert from FiBL, and jointly organized by FiBL, SWISSAID and Sahaja Samrudha, took place in Mysore, Karnataka on amaranth crop in June 2022.
During the first half year of 2022 the four CROPS4HD countries have successfully established the launch of their first Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) event. In Chad, this first event took place on the 18th of June in N’Djamena. This approach aims to bring together farmers, market agents and other service providers to identify and create a business opportunity through the creation of new products from NUS and non-NUS crops.
In May 2022, the Nigerien team welcomed the visit of an expert from FiBL, who provided valuable technical and scientific support. During the week of visit, three main aspects regarding CROPS4HD project were covered: to strengthen the training of stakeholders on the participatory varietal selection approach, to support the monitoring of the implementation of PUSH components, and finally to supervise the collection process of Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS) ecotypes.
During the month of May 2022, several activities to promote NUS took place in India among the farmers as well as the general public. Experimental trials were launched, and various events took place that allowed to raise awareness among the indigenous NUS crops as well as events like the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) which support the connections among participants involved in the process of NUS development.
The 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st of March 2022, was held the Planning and capacity building workshop for farmers’ organizations in advocacy for the promotion of peasant seed systems (PSS) in the Province of Mayo-Kebbi, Chad. This four days’ workshop, launched by AFSA and organized by their local partner PEPAF, reflects CROPS4HD’s desire to make farmers the real actors of influence and transformation of their working and living conditions.
In March 2022, the Tanzania team brought together CROPS4HD project representatives from Niger and Chad as well as several experts from FiBL and SDC. This visit provided an opportunity to exchange knowledges and learn about the project progress at this stage, with the focus mainly on the implementation of PULL activities, specifically on the first Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) event in Tanzania.
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