Supporting COVID-19 recovery means supporting farmers everywhere.

September 11, 2020

“Our local seed varieties are ours and we must protect them.” Community seed banks can help with that.

Support COVID-19 recovery for farmers like Isidora. A woman stands on a very sloped field of maize. She smiles at the camera.
Isidora Garcia, Lenca seed guardian, Ojo de Agua (Jesús de Otoro, Intibuca, Honduras)

Isidora Garcia, Indigenous seed guardian and small-scale farmer in Honduras, has worked for decades to promote food sovereignty and protect biodiversity in her community.

“Our local seed varieties are ours and we must protect them,” she says.

It is challenging work, made harder by rampant systemic inequity in the food system and a rapidly changing climate.

“The weather has changed, so when we have losses, here in the community seed bank we have seeds.”

But now there’s one more barrier to Isidora’s critical work: the COVID-19 pandemic.

The community seed banks Isidora speaks of are key to making sure there are good seeds to plant when farmers need them most. Around the world, SeedChange supports about 70 community seed banks. Local farmers like Isidora manage these seed banks, ensuring biodiversity conservation and community access to good, diverse, locally-adapted seeds.

Support farmers like Isidora as they lead their communities’ COVID-19 recoveries.

Community seed banks (CSBs) help rural farming communities create thriving local food systems that don’t depend on imported seed. And in a world where COVID-19 has shown us just how fragile trade can be, communities’ self-sufficiency has direct impact on their food security.

Climate change, natural disasters and disruptions in trade all threaten communities’ seed supply and food security. By supplying good, local seed varieties, CSBs provide a crucial service to communities during hard times. Plus, they are often hubs for other activities: household seed storage, microenterprise development, and training centres. In good times and in bad, community seed banks are a key part of healthy food systems.

COVID-19 has precipitated critical shocks throughout the global food system. Farmers—especially the small-scale farmers who are the last line of defense against food insecurity in their communities—are among the worst hit.

It is crucial that we support their recovery.

Donate today and support farmers like Isidora as they recover from the COVID-19 crisis.