FAO Local Seed Sourcing – A Domino Effect of Benefits

FAO Local Seed Sourcing – A Domino Effect of Benefits

28/05/2015

FAO is providing much-needed seeds to Nepalese farmers affected by the devastating earthquakes of 25 April and 12 May, thanks to funding from Belgium, Italy and FAO’s own resources. Rice seed is already reaching farmers in the six most affected districts for planting before the monsoon season starts in early June. A wide assortment of vegetable seeds will soon follow and help families boost their nutritional intake within weeks of planting.

FAO is working in collaboration with the small enterprise SEAN Seed Service Centre to source and pack the vegetable seeds locally. Through the project, 29 Nepali women have been engaged to sort, clean, dry, treat and package the seed in Kathmandu. The packages contain nine different types of vegetable seeds, including bean, cowpea, radish, broad leaf mustard, cauliflower, carrot, tomato, cabbage and pumpkin.

By sourcing the seeds locally, the project is supporting local employment and markets. Wherever possible, the seeds are collected from the rural districts. This involves famers producing the seed and women sorting and selling the seeds to the local buyers, which assists the people involved in the local supply chain before the women in Kathmandu even begin their work. Ultimately, these efforts will ensure that 322 000 people affected by the earthquake have much-needed food in the coming weeks and months.

As shown in the photo gallery, FAO visited the women engaged in the seed packing process. The women first sort to ensure that only seeds of the best physical quality attributes get to the next stage of the process. The women then take charge of packaging one variety of seed. After, the composite seed packing is sealed and finally bagged into the jute sack.

Mr Adhikari explained that many of his staff were directly affected by the earthquake, including damages to their homes. “The women are very proud that they are able to rebuild their own lives while also supporting the farmers from the most severely affected districts.” he said. The last picture shows Jyoty Balami and Sanu Balami holding the fruit of their work.