Enhancing On-Farm Conservation Of Agro-Biodiversity Through Community Seed Bank: An Experience Of Western Nepal
The community seed bank (CSB) is emerged as an effective rural institution at the community level to strengthen farmers’ access to diversity of crop genetic resources as well as seeds that contribute to local food security for poor farmers and also to ensure the conservation of agro-biodiversity on-farm. This paper presents some evidences from the community of western Nepal to demonstrate that CSB is one of the options to conserve and use agro-biodiversity on farm. Biodiversity Conservation and Development Committees (BCDCs) and farmers have established six CSBs in western terai with the support of Agrobiodiversity component of Western Terai Landscape Complex Project (WTLCP-ABD) in Bardia (1 CSB), Kanchanpur (2 CSBs) and Kailali (3 CSBs) districts. These CSBs are functional with prearranged community developed mechanisms for collection, conservation, replication and distribution of seeds. Communities have collected and conserved 88 (Belwa), 77 (Beldandi), 99 (Gadariya), 78 (Masuriya), 76 (Patharaiya) and 82 (Shankarpur) number of accessions of different crops in CSBs. CSB enhanced farmer’s seed system and strengthened social networks for exchange of seeds to cope with impacts of climatic adversity by providing immediate access to locally adapted germplasm as community based adaptation strategy. CSB is becoming a reliable local adaptation practice that minimizes the potential negative impacts of climate change in addition to accessibility, conservation and use of genetic resources in western terai of Nepal.
The Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol:12, Jun.2011, Page 132-139