Farming Matters Special Issue: Genetic resources access and benefit sharing for family farmers?

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Access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources is a crucial but very complex, political and legalistic matter. Does the formal system work for family farmers? As we see in this special issue of Farming Matters, co-produced with Bioversity International, it poses many challenges. At the same time, farmers around the world are leading successful […]

Farmers in Africa are opting to buy seed from informal markets rather than relying on their saved seed.

Recent research findings  have shown that instead of relying on saved seeds for new crops, farmers in Africa are opting to buy  seed from local markets or friends.  Our work is significant because it indicates smallholder farmers are far more likely to purchase seed rather than rely on saved seed,” says  Louise Sperling, a Senior Technical […]

Community Seed Banks – Origins, Evolution and Prospects

Community Seed Banks - Origins, Evolution and Prospects (Earthscan/Routledge in association with Bioversity International)

A new book published by Earthscan/Routledge in association with Bioversity International, Community Seed Banks – Origins, Evolution and Prospects, provides for the first time a global review of their development, including a wide range of case studies.

Sixth World Conference on Ecological Restoration

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The Sixth World Conference on Ecological Restoration will take place from 23 to 27 August 2015 in Manchester, England, with the theme: Towards Resilient Ecosystems: Restoring the Urban, the Rural and the Wild. The 4-day scientific program will feature world-renowned keynote and plenary speakers, including Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), thought-provoking symposia, pre-conference training courses, field trips, and a range of concurrent sessions such as “Ensuring adapted plant material for restoration: seed zones, climate change and insuring genetic diversity through seed increase”, “Socio-ecological resilience in restoration ecology”, “The shared conservation challenges and distinct restoration needs of forests and the grassy biomes” and many more…

Community Seed Banks in Ethiopia: An innovative approach to improving food security

The community seed bank in Chefe Donsa, a village two hours’ drive east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, collects and preserves the seeds of local crops to ensure farmers have a steady supply of seeds to sow each year.

Strengthening Support for Smallholder Farmer-led Seed systems

The SKI workshop participants/Photo: Amy Dean, PROGRESS

A multitude of institutions from a range of African countries met up to find synergies and ways to strengthen support for small farmer-led seed systems. The overarching aim of the seminar was to explore the interface between informal and formal systems of seed management, knowledge, research and innovation, from local systems at grassroots level to the more formalised systems that exist in universities, research institutions and the private sector.