Given the rampant production challenges particularly those relating with climate change impacts such as the emergence of new pests and diseases, prolonged drought or floods, availability of a wider seed diversity that can enhance the resilience of farming systems becomes even more imperative. In this regard, the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) of Uganda together with other development partners is working with communities to set up community seed banks with two broad objectives: To ensure that community crop diversity is preserved; and, to ensure easy access of desired superior quality seed by farmers.
This event is part of a project that aims at improving farmers’ access to a much wider range of quality and diverse seeds to better manage climate change and related biotic stresses and improve on food and nutrition security. This event will involve a national seed fair bringing together all community seed banks in Uganda to display their genetic diversity. The theme for the day will be “Leading the field: Equity and Food Security for all”.
The event will be graced by Hon. Vincent Ssempijja, Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, and Woman MP Hon. Tophas Kaahwa.
The ceremony will also entail a National Seed Diversity Fair which will attract farmers from other community seed banks in several districts in Uganda but also from Kenya and Tanzania. The participants will comprise of farmers, national and local leaders, private sector, NGOs as well as development partners. The event will also be attended by Kenyan farmers from the Nyando Climate-Smart Villages.
CCAFS provided co-funding to construct the community seed bank in addition to the funds provided by Bioversity International. The Community Based Organisation that was started by CCAFS in 2013 donated the piece of land.
The project on “Open Source Seed Systems for Climate Change Adaptation” is funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Union through the Benefit Sharing Fund of the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).