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Banking for the future: Savings, security and seeds. A short study of community seed banks in Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Nepal, Thailand, Zambia and Zimbabwe

The global seed market has grown considerably the last decades into a multibillion dollar industry, largely due to more farmers purchasing seeds. Despite the growth in the commercial seed sector, the majority of the farmers in the developing world still depend on the harvest season to collect seeds. They are therefore very vulnerable to the risk of crop failure, and even more so as weather patterns change drastically every year. Availability and reliability of seeds at the right time, as well as easy access, is crucial for poor farmers. This report links community seed banks to the implementation of Farmers’ Rights to crop genetic diversity, before looking into different experiences with community seed banks in 9 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America, and making some policy recommendations to circumvent common challenges of community seed banks.