More than 1.5 billion farmers depend on farmer-saved seeds for their food security. Through a dynamic collaboration between agrarian communities, indigenous peoples, scientists and policy makers, USC Canada aims to rebuild and fortify seed saving and ecological farming traditions that work with nature and strengthen crucial crop genetic diversity.
Our approach pays special attention to on-farm conservation strategies. We involve smallholder producers and seek to build sustainable pest and disease resistance, increase production and meet the ever-increasing food and nutrition demands of our growing global population.
- Strengthening and building farmer-managed seed banks that serve both as back-up seed supplies for tough times and as libraries of local crop genetic heritage.
- Strengthening and introducing on-farm, conservation-based Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS) and Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) of farmers’ varieties.
- Training in dealing with post-harvest losses.
- Promoting integrated pest management.
- Encouraging farmer-to-farmer exchanges through seed fairs, markets and exchanges.
- Fostering collaboration on agro-biodiversity practices and policies with government officials (extension services, ministry officials, etc.).