We enable exchange of knowledge. We work for Farmer Field Schools where traditional and scientific knowledge is combined for climate proof farming. We empower the individual and raise our voice in the international debate on bio-agricultural diversity.
The SD=HS program tackles issues of unequal and unsustainable global seeds and food systems in multiple ways. Read about some of the practical activities that are supported or enabled by the program.
Farmer Field Schools
The Farmer Field Schools are a tried, tested and proven method. Local farmers collectively learn to define problems and seek solutions. With the support of scientists and regional technicians, farmers learn breeding techniques, they test new seeds and share observations.
Farmer Seed Enterprises
Farmer Seed Enterprises (FSEs) are seed-production and marketing cooperatives. They vary in form, organizational structure and market engagement, ranging from villagebased groups to larger-scale commercial companies. Some of the objectives for the FSEs are to provide small farmers in more diverse and stressful areas with appropriate varieties of high-quality seeds; to improve the diffusion of farmers’ diverse cultivars and to increase plant genetic resources and diversity through access to wider seed markets.
Community Seed Banks
Community Seed Banks are there to make seeds available to local communities from one planting season to the next. The seed banks provide diversity for crop enhancement and serve as strategic reserves for farmers during times of disaster. At regular Seed Fairs, farmers come together to store and exchange crop products and seeds. Fairs are ideal platforms for sharing knowledge and experiences on seed management and farming systems.
Men and women play different roles in food production and seed management. To effectively improve food security, seed security, and farmers’ livelihoods, it is imperative to recognize these different roles and discuss optimal, fair, and equitable division of labor, decision making, and access to plant genetic resources. We empower women to reclaim their role in food security through strengthening their capacity in seeds management and nutrition and global policy engagement.
Strengthening farmer-managed seed systems requires conducive policies in order to be sustainable. SD=HS promotes policy engagement at local, national, and global levels. The key innovation is empowerment, whereby the local communities’ awareness of seed policies is increased and their capacity to engage in and influence local and global food, agriculture, and climate change policies is reinforced. SD=HS connects farmers to high-level global stakeholders and influences several national and global policy-making processes.