12 Jun Seed Security and community driven seed saving systems
PELUM Kenya as a network has been in the forefront of creating awareness on the importance of Seed Security and community driven seed saving systems, while at the same time creating awareness on GMOs and its implication to African agriculture, a technology that is contrary to the practices and systems that are used in small scale farming. However, seed availability being a big challenge, when it is the planting season and there is seed insufficiency, farmers will go for any type of seed available without having the choice for either indigenous and local seeds, compared to exotic hybrids and other foreign seed.
In 2011 PELUM supported some 8 (eight) farmers and community trainers to the Navdanya Centre in India for one week where they have been very successful in establishing community seed banks for a learning visit. In addition PELUM Kenya Members have also been holding community Seed Barazas aimed at sensitizing on the importance of seed saving.
PELUM Kenya is also in the process of documenting an innovation that has been developed by RIDEP in seed to create peace among two warring neighbouring communities.
The main reason for these diverse initiatives by PELUM Kenya is to link seed security with food security; encourage own seed saving and exchange of seed among communities; highlight the importance of indigenous and local seed types that are more adaptable to the changing climate; encourage agrobiodiversity on the farms to cushion against disasters so that when once crop type fails smallholder farmers are not immediately thrown into food shortages.