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Community seed bank establishment


Name: Shree Bhawani Community Seed Bank

Country: Nepal

Year of establishment: 2000

Type of organization: Cooperative business


Most of the subsistence-oriented farmers save their own seeds for staple crops.Seed saving after every harvest is a common practice in Nepal, ensuring availability of quality seeds for next crop growing season.The main source of seeds were farmers’ own saved seeds (68 to 91%) & seed from neighbors and relatives.Most farmers followed seed selection before and after crop harvest.With this aged old practices,farmers are maintaining and conserving certain agro-biodiversity in their farms.In this regards,every farmer is conserving and utilizing specific crop varieties having utility values. Farmers need varieties of seeds to fulfill their diverse choices. But few crop varieties grown in farmers’ fields are not sufficient for it.Though, diversity provides flexibility of choices, unavailability of options to increase the value of landraces by maximizing benefits;lack of sufficient quality seeds, market inaccessibility & unfavorable policies made lost of landraces from farmers’ fields.Thus, local seed security is highly reduced & farmers have to depend on external sources for seeds & planting materials each year.In this context, CSB is providing diverse options to farmers satisfying their needs that enhanced the accessibility of rare, endangered and threatened germplasm & increased production of improved seeds.It also ensures conservation of traditional seeds in addition to commercialized improved crop seeds & conserve at least one traditional seeds by rules developed by community.



Forests / Mountains


Protection / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education


Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Health / Climate action




Purposes of such community seed banks are not only saving and exchanging local seeds and keeping them under the control of the farming community for easy access and use for seed security at the community level but also consolidating community roles in promoting conservation, sustainable use and improvement of important local genetic resources /
traditional knowledge. The initiative aim to promote the management and sustainable use of both local and farmer-preferred modern varieties for food security and to improve the livelihoods of farmers. This has helped in conserving environment with reducing chemical fertilizers/pesticides used during agricultural practices


As agro-biodiversity is the backbone for the sustainable development of agriculture, food security and poverty alleviation in Nepal, it is a national responsibility to conserve, maintain and sustainable use of the available diversity. It is also becoming important issues to realize the role of local communities in maintaining and managing local genetic materials for food and nutrition security.


Farmers in Nepal are having a hard time to sustain agriculture under the prevailing tough conditions. Community-led initiatives like the establishment of community seed banks are an effective platform to maintain traditional crop varieties and improved seed management for future usage, especially for achieving food security. The government and concerned agencies should come forward to strengthen and institutionalize the community-led initiatives to sustain agriculture in the country.



Seed banks contribute enormously to food security by ensuring the timely availability of seeds of useful crops. They encourage the cultivation and consumption of these crops, benefiting both producers and consumers. Farmers in most of the villages of Jumla district, like many other rural farming villages, also faced multiple challenges to sustain the farming profession. The loss of local rice varieties including Marsi, Beans, Uwa continued unabated while the dependency on imported hybrid seeds grew. The introduction of hybrid and improved seeds had an adverse impact on local genetic resources including local rice seeds landraces that were going extinct.Thus this initiative can be strengthened encouraging farmers to get together, with each of them bringing seeds of different neglected species and exchanging them with those from their neighbors and there is high need of replicability in other villages of Jumla as well as other districts of Nepal.


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