With every passing day, the vast biodiversity of our planet is being diminished. Not only are many animal species facing the threat of extinction due to human encroachment on habitat as well as climate change, but plant genetic diversity is also decreasing at an alarming rate as more and more farmers choose store-bought seed over locally unique varieties, and gardeners lose touch with the art of seed saving. Inspired by a generous donation of organic, open-pollinated (OP) seed from Seeds of Change in the United States, Afristar has begun to build a seed bank to distribute, grow out, save and share organic OP seed, with the aim to create a usable regional seed bank appropriate to the South African ecological and cultural context, intended to provide a basis for local food security and seed sovereignty. The project aims both to support and raise awareness on the importance of seed in achieving these aims, and to demonstrate a replicable model for other areas to follow.
Open-pollinated seed varieties are those that reproduce true-to-type when grown out in a home garden or farm. OP seed puts the genetic resources for food production back in the grower’s control, unlike hybrid seeds or genetically modified seeds which cannot be reproduced through natural seed-saving processes.
If you have seed to share or wish to become a part of our seed saving network, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org