When you come across an especially promising local variety of a crop grown in your area, how can you enable other farmers to try out this variety? If a farmer gives you 30 seeds of an exceptional variety, how might you go about distributing these? How does seed flow happen in and among communities where you work?
In this article, we share about ECHO Asia’s experience helping host four very different seed fairs. We also outline several important components of a seed fair, so you can learn from our experience if your organization is interested in hosting one.
An important activity of many ECHO network partners is supporting farmers in locating, testing, and distributing plant varieties that grow well under local conditions. Crops and varieties that can produce reliably with locally accessible inputs are essential for smallholder farmers. Most farmers in the ECHO network produce and save much of their own planting seed, and some are in a transition time with using commercial seed for certain crops. Understanding farmer seed access, supplies, and practices is a critical part of improving local farming systems.