Thursday, 21 December 2017 00:00

Seed Banks: Ensuring the Future of Our Food

Ensuring future generations can grow the food they'll need means keeping seed diversity safe and available to farmers today. 

Aissata Ongoiba with samples of Sorghum at the Badiari Village gene bank - Photo by Modibo Goita MALI 2x1

Aissata Ongoiba with samples of sorghum at the Badiari Village Seed Bank in Mali. (Photo: Modibo Goita)

Aissata Ongoiba has taken care of the community seed bank in Badiari village, Mali, for more than two decades. Her neighbours save seeds from each harvest for deposit in this storage centre, built to keep seeds safe for future plantings. 

In the last several decades, agriculture has trended toward uniformity, prioritizing a few crops and leaving behind many others. So seed banks like the one Aissata manages have become ever more important. Community seed banks can help farmers regain these often nutritious, resilient crop varieties that may have been neglected over the years. As farmers being to use the seed banks to store a portion of their seed harvest every year, the facilities can prevent crops from falling out of use in the first place. And seed banks are a safety net against loss of crops in times of drought and crop failure.

Seed banks mean farmers can access the seeds they need today, while keeping a diversity of seeds safe for use tomorrow.

They are also a core piece of our Seeds of Survival program in 12 countries around the world. 


Is there a special someone on your holiday shopping list who would appreciate the gift of helping communities build and access seed banks?

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If so, you can cross one gift off your shopping list. With USC Canada's Gifts that Grow, you can support the construction and maintenance of seed banks to carefully store, catalogue and share seeds with generations of farmers to come.

Give the gift of a healthier, better fed world this holiday season!

Read 244 times Last modified on Friday, 22 December 2017 15:30

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LottaHitschmanova tbnWhat's in a Name?

We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.

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