Seed Saving Scheme
ASHA/Nepal, provides support to three women groups in Nuwakot, one of the remotest districts in Nepal. Since 2004 nearly 70 women, members of these 3 women groups and their family members have benefited from this project. The project focuses to strengthen the management capacity of these women, to empower them for their basic rights, and to uplift their living standards by establishing sustainable and regular income sources for their day-to-day basic needs.
The community members receive guidance and technical support on seed production, management and storage of major crops, i.e., vegetable crops and maize. The farmers produce and store the seeds in their own fields. In the course of production and storage of seeds, the group members are mobilizing the locally available resources. They use mud and straw structures for storage and botanical extracts are used to protect the seeds from pests and diseases. They have also developed a seed exchange within the community.
ASHA/Nepal is putting its focusing on conservation and the management of seeds of local crops. They ultimately want to minimize dependency on external seed varieties and encourage the women groups’ self-reliance on seeding material. This would mean women do not have to buy seeds every year, and by knowing the source of the seeds and how they perform, they can produce improved yields.
So AHSA are training community members and providing technical support on seed production, management and storage of crops. This encourages seed exchange within the community. In turn this will also ensure availability of quality planting materials for the next cropping season, minimize external dependency on seed sources, encourage seed exchange at the local level and make the community capable in conserving of crop cultivars.
The women group members managed the seeds of the following vegetable and cereal crops that suits the existing agro-ecological condition:
• Pumpkin (two types)
• Bitter gourd
• Swiss chard
• Broad leaf mustard