Seeds are a strategic starting point for any agricultural development program or project, and good seeds are undoubtedly one of the most important material inputs for farmers, both men and women. In some farming communities and families, seeds are the most significant predictor of productivity. For subsistence and small-scale farmers, whose resources are limited and risk taking capacity is low, what matters most are seeds that are yield-dependable, climate-smart and sustainable. Seed security – access to enough quality seed at times of planting – is paramount.
ECHO Asia has been operating a seed bank in Thailand since 2009, the first seed bank outside of ECHO Inc. Florida Headquarters. The goal of the ECHO Asia Seed Bank is to serve as a resource facility for development workers within the region who wish to experiment with and/or promote underutilized crops as they find ways to improve the lives of the poor. The seed bank maintains a collection of hard-to-find seeds that thrive under difficult growing conditions in the tropics and sub-tropics and are appropriate to sustainable agriculture practices.
Through the ECHO Asia Seed Bank, members of the ECHO community network can either acquire free small sample packets for free or purchase bulk orders of selected seeds. This transaction is aided by this catalog, the “ECHO Asia Seed Catalog.”
ECHO Asia endeavors to keep the Seed Bank Catalog up-to-date reflecting our discovery, collection and acquisition of seeds as we travel around Asia in the course of conducting training and networking activities and events with partners. This version of the ECHO Asia Seed Bank Catalog provides the latest collection of seeds categorized into fruits, grains, herbs and plants suitable for botanical pesticides, legumes, oil seeds, pulses and green manure/cover crops, vegetables and seed bundles.
We hope that this catalog will greatly facilitate the choice and access of many small-scale farmers. Above all, we trust that it will effectively support the ECHO mission of reducing hunger and improving the lives of small-scale farmers worldwide.
Eduardo A. Sabio, Ph.D.