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If you don't find an answer to your question here, please click this link to the ECHO Seed Bank forum and create a topic/question, or email us at seeds@echonet.org.

Is the ECHO Global Seed Bank a business or seed company?

No…ECHO is a non-profit organization with a vision to honor God by providing sustainable hunger solutions to small holder farmers and gardeners, primarily in the developing world. The Seed Bank is part of this global ministry. The Seed Bank’s purpose is to provide small, trial packets of seed to individuals and organizations working directly with resource poor farmers and gardeners, not to provide seed to gardeners in the US. ECHO offers mainly open pollinated varieties that come true to type. We have a few hybrid papayas in our catalog that are clearly marked. The seed bank does not carry any genetically engineered crops. 

I am a gardener in the US. How can I order seeds from ECHO?

The seeds in ECHO’s Global Seed Bank listings are intended only for overseas network members actively engaged in community development. Seed sales to individual gardeners in the United States are available through the ECHO bookstore and online bookstore website. You may register for ECHO Community and request access to our seed catalog by emailing echo@echonet.org. US gardeners are not eligible for free seed packets.  

Where can I find larger quantities of the seeds you offer?

Our purpose is to get small amounts of a diverse selection of plant species into many people's hands for experimentation, rather than large amounts of a few species into a few people's hands for commerical production. Many of the species we have in our listing come from research stations or international seed banks and we do not have them available in large quantities from our seed bank. We propagate some species on our research and demonstration farm in Florida and others we purchase from seed companies. Contact us at seeds@echonet.org if you have questions about where to find larger quantities of a specific species. 

Why does ECHO offer trial seed packets?

Trial packets of seed are a way to identify new crops or varieties that may fill gaps in the local crop options. Also, they can be grown with and compared with local varieties. If you are planning to grow the seed to produce more seed, remember to grow it in isolation from other varieties of the same species. You can google the isolation distance for a species and find out how far it needs to be from other varieties to prevent cross pollination. You could order two packets of a variety and use one packet for a trial/comparison and save the other packet for seed production the next season. In this way, you produce seed in the second season that is pure to that variety. We would love to hear how the crops from our seed bank perform in your area. Fill out a feedback form here.    

What seeds are allowed into my country?

This varies from country to country depending on each country's importation regulations. Contact your ministry of agriculture for a list of prohibited or restricted plant species, as well as for guidelines for importing seeds. Sometimes seeds are allowed in even when plant material is not. You may also contact the ECHO seed bank for assistance - we can usually help you find out. Contact us at seeds@echonet.org. 

Can I bring vegetable seeds to Haiti?

For people wanting to bring seeds into Haiti, vegetable seeds are unrestricted and do not require a phytosanitary certificate. Cuttings and non-vegetable seeds require a phytosanitary certificate. (Note: this import information applies to the country of Haiti)

How do I obtain a phytosanitary certificate?

We are able to obtain phytosanitary certificates for seeds being exported from ECHO's seed bank. The certificate will cost you $61 USD. This process takes at least two weeks, so please allow time for order processing as well as certification. Often it is necessary to obtain a seed import permit from the importing country before a phytosanitary certificate can be issued. If you think you require a phytosanitary certificate, please contact the seed bank directly before ordering seeds and we will be happy to assist. Contact us at seeds@echonet.org.