Seeds naturally have a place in almost any endeavor having to do with agricultural development. Seeds of most food plants are small and, as such, are more easily transported and can be shipped longer distances than vegetative cuttings. For the farmer, seeds represent the promise of a continued supply of food.

As with any development “tool,” however, seeds can be misused. For instance, distributing improperly stored seeds that germinate poorly could expose farmers to risk of crop failure.

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  1. The goal of the ECHO Global Seed Bank is to serve as a resource for development workers who wish to experiment with underutilized crops as they work to improve the lives of small scale farmers and gardeners. The seed bank maintains a collection of hard-to-find seeds that thrive under the often...
  2. 2017-05-08 ECHO reguguarly keeps track of crop porduction records especially for crops disseminated from our Global Seed Bank. This fillable form is the sheet ECHO staff (mainly interns) use when evaluating a crop for it's potential use and distribution to ECHO's Network. This form can also be used to...
  3. This group page exists so that individuals involved in Seed Technology around the world can connect. We encourage you to share the challenges you face in your Seed Technology endeavors, discuss lessons and techniques learned through your experiences, and share your story! Connect to the Group...
  4. Key Resource
    2016-03-22 Yearly production of grains, pulses, and vegetables depends on a reliable supply of quality seed. This is true for the farmer growing a crop to feed their family as well as for the agricultural worker evaluating and growing out seeds of a new crop species or variety that could improve lives. In...
  5. Key Resource
    2000-01-21 ECHO is frequently asked, by groups or individuals from North America, to suggest vegetable seeds to take with them on short trips overseas. Often the group is a “work team” that is being sent by a church. Someone with the group they are going to visit has asked them to bring vegetable seeds. Or...
  6. Key Resource
    2010-06-01 Seeds naturally have a place in almost any endeavor having to do with agricultural development. Seeds of most food plants are small and, as such, are more easily transported and can be shipped longer distances than vegetative cuttings. For the farmer, seeds represent the promise of a continued...
  7. 2011-10-01 Testing Seed Viability Using Simple Germination Tests
  8. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #28 For both farmers and researchers in the tropics, seed saving can be very frustrating. In Mondulkiri province, farmers are rarely able to keep seed for more than the six months between harvest and the new planting season. Seeds stored longer than this tend...
  9. 2015-01-20 Storing seeds in the tropics can often be difficult; with high temperatures and humid conditions, seeds lose their ability to germinate quickly. Many techniques for seed storage exist, from the high-tech standards of gene banks to simple methods used by villagers for saving their own seeds. All...
  10. 2016-08-09 Vacuum-sealing seeds is highly effective, but the technology to do it is often out of the reach of small-scale farmers. This one dollar solution can help small-scale farmers store seeds more reliably, improving seed viability and reducing loss. This research was done in Cambodia as part of "Seeds...
  11. 2012-07-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #14 Introduction Storing seeds in the tropics can often be difficult; with high temperatures and humid conditions, seeds lose their ability to germinate quickly. Many techniques for seed storage exist, from the high-tech standards of gene banks to simple...
  12. 2017-03-22 Seed conservation under tropical climates is a great challenge when usual storage technology is lacking. Seed pests and the loss of seed viability are among the main risks faced by farmers and seed banks. ScientistsLawrence et. al.recently found that vacuum sealing significantly reduces stored...
  13. 2018-01-20 Storing seeds in the tropics can often be difficult; with high temperatures and humid conditions, seeds lose their ability to germinate quickly. Many techniques for seed storage exist, from the high-tech standards of gene banks to simple methods used by villagers for saving their own seeds. All...
  14. 2017-01-20
  15. 2008-07-20 Topics briefy addressed: Nematode management. Seed inoculants to maximize the ability ofleguminous plants to fix nitrogen. Bean weevils controlled by tumbling the beans. Controlling seed storage conditions. Saving your own vegetable seeds. Neem leaf tea or neem seed oil to discourageinsect...
  16. 2007-01-20 Seed saving is surprisingly easy with some vegetables, possible but somewhat difficult for others, and almost impossible for still other vegetable crops. It would help to know what the issues are; some basic techniques for seed saving; and which vegetables are easy and which are more difficult.
  17. Resources from the Cambodia Seed Saving Workshop held on December 2-3 at Ntuk Nti Farm,Cambodia ECHO Asia, in conjunction with International Cooperation Cambodia (ICC) and Ntuk Nti, with funding from the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP-USA) held a seed saving workshop in Sen Monorem, Mondulkiri...
  18. 2017-01-16 Tithonia (Tithonia diversifolia), also known as Mexican sunflower or tree marigold, is a perennial shrub that is native to Mexico and Central America. Often introduced for its attractive flowers, it is now found in humid and sub-humid parts of Africa, Asia, and South America. It grows on most...
  19. 2009-01-20 Jennifer Gerson, working in Liberia, wrote to us about seed storage.
  20. 1998-12-19 Certain seeds have been shown to respond to smoke before they will germinate, even when there is no fire.
  21. 2010-10-20 Drying seeds in preparation for storage and maintaining dry conditions in storage both help prevent the growth and harmful effects of mold on seed viability.
  22. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #8 Editor: Abram serves as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow andInstructor with the International Sustainable DevelopmentStudies Institute in Chiang Mai. He also assists the ECHO AsiaRegional Office as a technical advisor. Introduction and Background Saving your...
  23. There is a diverse array of products emanating from ICRISAT’s mandate crops chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet — that have been derived from tangible outputs of projects. These are listed under the categories of Germplasm, Genomic resources, Informative...
  24. Seed is the first link in the food and fiber chain. And the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The Clif Bar Family Foundation created Seed Matters to improve the viability and availability of organic seed to ensure healthy, nutritious and productive crops. Together with our partners and...
  25. Find links to specific seed saving instructions for 27 common vegetables. This online information comes from Basic Seed Saving, a 48 page paperback book written by Bill McDorman. It was created to provide enough practical information to allow gardeners to embark on the rewarding adventure of...
  26. 2017-02-08 Smallholder farmers in rural African villages rely on their home-grown seeds for more than 85% of their needs. Due to various reasons, small holder farmers are enticed or forced to use seeds from commercial companies which create dependency. Seed saving has challenges. For farmers to produce...
  27. 2013-01-20
  28. 2015-11-04
  29. 2015-12-02 Taylor presents findings from ECHO, Ntuk Nti, & ICC's recent research project about local seed systems. In this presentation he gives an overview of current seed storage methods being used in Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri, Cambodia.
  30. 2015-12-02 An introduction to plant and seed biology, including pollination, germination, multiplication, selection, isolation, and how to select seed.
  31. 2015-12-02 Ken presents findings from ECHO, Ntuk Nti, and ICC's recent research project about local seed systems. In this presentation, he gives an overview of improved seed storage methods developed during the project.
  32. 2015-03-03 An overview of appropriate seed saving techniques including selection, cleaning, and storage. This talk is in English.
  33. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #27 When planning to construct a “Cold Room” or “Seed Storage Room” for the purpose of preserving seed viability, one must first consider principles for optimum seed storage. In ECHO Asia Note 14 (July 2012), we shared results from our comparison of vacuum...
  34. Seed is the cheapest and basic input for sustained agricultural production. Multiplication and distribution of high quality seed of improved varieties is a crucial step in the agricultural production of any country. Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resourceswhich...
  35. Abstract,Indian Journal Of Traditional Knowledge, 2007 Indigenous practices play a vital role in sustainable agriculture development and are unique to a given culture of society. An exhaustive survey was conducted in dry tracts of Tamil Nadu to document the indigenous storage structures used by...
  36. The Community Seed Network (CSN) is a place to celebrate seeds and community. By providing resources and a platform for networking and information sharing, the CSN is here to support you as you develop your knowledge, skills, and community connections to save and share open-pollinated seeds! If...
  37. Welcome to OSA's online variety trial tool, created in cooperation with the USDA Risk Management Agency. This tool can help you plan simple variety trials and view the results. Getting started with the Variety Trial Tool Most people will use this site by beginning at the 'Plan Your Trial' tab....
  38. This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 31. Saving your own seeds can be a cost-effective way to access crop seed for future planting and to help maintain the planet’s plant biodiversity. Whether you plant your own saved seeds, give them away to friends and neighbors, or distribute them through...
  39. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #12 In 2010 the ECHO Asia Impact C enter, along with lead partner, Pennsylvania State University, and Maejo University, was awarded a CRSP Horticulture Exploratory Project grant with major support from USAID. Entitled, "Strengthening Indigenous Informal Seed...
  40. Abstract, ScienceDirect 2014 The importance of seed provisioning in food security and nutrition, agricultural development and rural livelihoods, and agrobiodiversity and germplasm conservation is well accepted by policy makers, practitioners and researchers. The role of farmer seed networks is...
  41. While most plant breeders recognize the importance of utilizing genetic diversity in breeding programs, much of the breeding efforts in the past has largely been based on small segments of locally adapted cultivars. Only in recent years has it become apparent that plant breeding programs with a...
  42. SID is a compilation of seed biological trait data from the MSBP's own collections and from other published and unpublished sources. Its primary purpose is as an internal source of a variety of seed biological information; for use in large scale analysis and decision support for seed conservation...
  43. The Millennium Seed Bank has published a number of more detailed technical guides to various aspects of our work. Technical Information Sheets A collection of technical information sheets produced by Millennium Seed Bank staff, covering various aspects of seed conservation practices and...
  44. With support from USAID’s Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program (Hort CRSP), Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization’s Asia Impact Center (ECHO Asia), Maejo University, Thailand, and the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) initiated efforts in 2010 to begin strengthening...
  45. Agronomy for Sustainable Development Brian Lawrence, Abram Bicksler, Kimberly Duncan Abstract : Prevention of pests while maintaining viable seed during storage is often challenging for smallholder farmers in the tropics and subtropics. Investment in costly technologies or storage equipment is...
  46. Acta Horticulturae Bates, R., Gill, T., Bicksler, A., Meitzner Yoder, L., Burnette, R., & Ricciardi, V. (2011, June)Designing strategies and systems to identify, preserve and promote underutilized indigenous crop species. In II International Symposium on Underutilized Plant Species: Crops for...
  47. GENESYS is a global portal to information about Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA). It is a gateway from which germplasm accessions from genebanks around the world can be easily found and ordered. GENESYS is the result of collaboration betweenBioversity Internationalon...
  48. Abstract -Conservation Physiology Seed viability monitoring, usually through a germination test, is a key aspect of genebank management; a low viability result triggers the regeneration of an accession in order to ensure that the genetic diversity of the accession is conserved and available for...
  49. Abstract - BioScience Current extinction rates of plant and animal speciesare estimated to be as much as 100- to 1000-fold higher than during the recent geological past, a phenomenon that conservation biologists attribute to wide-scale destruction of natural habitats (Pimm et al. 1995). As...
  50. Abstract -New Phytologist Loss of moisture in mature seeds ofQuercus roburL. was associated with loss of viability, a rise in lipid peroxidation and build-up of free radicals. Radical-initiated damage was largely confined to the embryonic axes as their moisture contents declined to below 47 %....
  51. 2014-10-28 Potato production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has more than doubled since 1994, with 70% growth in eastern Africa (FAO and CFC 2010). Despite these gains, on-farm potato yields in the region still short compared to their potential. Mostly due to a combination of inadequate supplies of...
  52. Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resourceswhich havenot yet been added tothis collection. Search for more listings and filtering
  53. Access to quality seed can be a difficulty for small-scale farmers. This section looks at some options and methods which make it easier to store and access seeds.
  54. Key Resource 2002-03-01 Amazon.com Description Seed to Seed is a complete seed-saving guide that describes specific techniques for saving the seeds of 160 different vegetables. This book contains detailed information about each vegetable, including its botanical classification, flower structure and means of pollination,...
  55. 2004-04-20 Poor crop establishment is common in developing countries. However, plants can be given a head start if they are able to germinate and emerge quickly. One way to minimize the time that seeds spend absorbing water from the soil is to soak the seeds in water before sowing them.
  56. Organic Seed Allianceregularly publishes and distributes resources free of charge. OSA'spublications include manuals on how to conduct plant breeding, seed production, and variety trials; record keeping materials; proceedings from our Organic Seed Growers Conference; and policy reports, webinars,...
  57. 2005-01-20 Farmers everywhere plant seeds with the expectation that they will germinate, grow and produce a crop that can be harvested. In some cases, the seeds that are planted germinate as hoped. In other cases, seed germination percentage is quite poor. This article will address some aspects about seeds...
  58. 2013-03-20 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #16 Since 2011, ECHO Asia has developed and facilitated seed exchange events during meetings with local partners. Through conversations with farmers and NGO staff, we have gained better insight about locally-important plant varieties, seed saving practices,...
  59. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #12 Introduction 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...
  60. The Crop Calendar is a tool that provides timely information about seeds to promote local crop production. It contains information on planting, sowing and harvesting periods of locally adapted crops in specific agro-ecological zones. It also provides information on the sowing rates of seed and...
  61. Abstract,Agriculture & Food Security, 2018 Background Onion (Allium cepaL.) is member of the family Alliaceae and the most widely grown herbaceous biennial vegetable crop. Quality planting material is one of the major inputs to successful vegetable production. However, it is one of the major...
  62. Over the years it has become increasingly difficult for the more than 250 million Indians whose livelihood depends on agriculture, to make a sustainable income. Overcome by their extreme economic pressures, many take drastic steps to end their suffering. Reports suggest that, burdened by the...
  63. Key Resource 1998-12-01 A Comprehensive directory for all growers. Over 43,000 seeds including 6,000 vegetables and where to buy them.
  64. 2019-01-20 The Resilient Seed Systems Handbook Second Edition, developed by a multidisciplinary team of Bioversity International researchers and research partners, is a tool that supports research and capacity building on resilient seed systems in the context of adaptation to climate change. The first...
  65. Providing smallholder farmers access to high-quality seeds of improved varieties of horticultural crops is fundamental to increasing productivity and incomes. In humid tropical regions, traditional seed production and storage methods without temperature and moisture control result in rapid...
  66. Perennial crops are robust; they protect soil from erosion and improve soil structure. They increase ecosystem nutrient retention, carbon sequestration, and water infiltration, and can contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Overall, they help ensure food and water security over...
  67. This handbook provides an introduction to seed storage physiology for those responsible for plant genetic conservation and a selective summary of the literature on seed survival in storage, and thus on seed storage behaviour. (Letters I-Z)
  68. This handbook provides an introduction to seed storage physiology for those responsible for plant genetic conservation and a selective summary of the literature on seed survival in storage, and thus on seed storage behaviour, for almost 7000 species from 251 families. (Letters A-H)
  69. Seeds naturally have a place in almost any endeavor having to do with agricultural development. Seeds of most food plants are small and, as such, are more easily transported and can be shipped longer distances than vegetative cuttings. For the farmer, seeds represent the promise of a continued...
  70. AccessAgriculture Training Video In this video, we will learn about a solution that boosts the crop’s growth, and at the same time protects the crop from pests and diseases. Soil contains many kinds of living things, including microbes that enrich the soil, and protect plants from diseases....
  71. 2018-11-15 To empower persons working among rural farmers and gardeners in developing nations. One limiting factor is the availability of affordable quality seed of varieties well suited to the climate and culture. Seed2Save is Mike’s approach to make selections of open-pollinated varieties within target...
  72. 2019-01-07 Two broad categories of seeds exist, referred to as recalcitrant and orthodox. The former must be kept moist and planted soon after they are collected; large-seeded fruits such as mango and avocado are typical examples. The second type of seeds are discussed in this document. Orthodox seeds are...
  73. This toolkit has been developed to provide information on sustainable production of seeds and seedlings of agroforestry species. The prime objective of the toolkit is to provide information and examples of how the quality of seeds and seedlings can be maintained from collection to field planting...
  74. A seed library is a place where community members can get seeds for free or for a nominal fee and is run for the public benefit. Many seed libraries are open in public libraries and community centers. For some communities, getting folks to garden and grow some of their own food is the focus. For...
  75. Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resourceswhich havenot yet been added tothis collection. Search for more listings and filtering
  76. 2018-05-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 38. Introduction Given the proper facilities necessary to store seeds long-term, whereby low temperature and low humidity are kept stable over time, it is very possible to store most orthodox seeds for several years at a time in the tropics (Harrington,...
  77. Seeds naturally have a place in almost any endeavor having to do with agricultural development. Seeds of most food plants are small and, as such, are more easily transported and can be shipped longer distances than vegetative cuttings. For the farmer, seeds represent the promise of a continued...
  78. Seed-based development demands a holistic approach if one aims to have impact for a large number of farmers and across a broad rangeof crops. Seed systems need to be designed to meet multiple goals: increase production, enhance family nutrition, make systems more resilience, and help farmers...
  79. INTRODUCTION Seeds are a vital component of the world’s diet. Cereal grains alone, which comprise -90% of all cultivated seeds, contribute up to half of the global per capita energy intake. Not surprisingly then, seed biology is one of the most extensively researched areas in plant physiology....
  80. Abstract, The Arabidopsis Book, 2008 Seed dormancy allows seeds to overcome periods that are unfavourable for seedling established and is therefore important for plant ecology and agriculture. Several processes are known to be involved in the induction of dormancy and in the switch from the...
  81. ISSD aims to strengthen different seed systems in a country; supporting the development of a vibrant, pluralistic, and market-oriented seed sector. By cultivating an enabling environment for innovation and the coexistence of different seed systems, a wider range of farmers and seed entrepreneurs...
  82. Founded in 1924, with the aim to develop and publish standard procedures in the field of seed testing, ISTA is inextricably linked with the history of seed testing. With member laboratories in over 70 countries/distinct economies worldwide, ISTA membership is truly a global network. Vision...
  83. Abstract, Agriculture & Food Security, 2017 Local seed systems that are developed, managed and maintained by farmers are a fundamental practice in smallholder crop production, supporting more than 80% of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and feeding more than 70% of its population. The resilience...
  84. CRS MercyCorps GOAL USAID 2014 Seed is the foundation for the production of cereals and grain legumes that underpins farm family food security and income across Africa and Asia. Throughout Africa, in particular, farmers themselves produce an estimated 80–100% of the seed of both local and...
  85. Seed storage can be a major problem because the majority of the world’s poor countries are located in the tropics, where the combination of high temperature and high relative humidity causes rapid deterioration of seed quality. In South Asia, seeds harvested before or during the monsoon season...
  86. Growing Plants from Seed contains essential information on this most popular form of plant propagation. The book explains exactly what a seed is and how it germinates, and explores the main techniques of harvesting and storing seed. There are step-by-step instructions on sowing and growing-on...
  87. Compared to soybean meal, sunflower meal has a number of favorable characteristic including bland flavor, and lower content of sugars. Overall, sunflower proteins have much potential to make a significant contribution to world protein supplies.
  88. Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) is a highly effective on-farm breeding method that involves a close collaboration between farmers and researchers. The approach provides farmers an opportunity to adapt crop varieties to their specific regions and organic farming practices. This toolkit includes...
  89. To help you derive the greatest measure of success, here is a concise but encyclopedic volume of all the things you need to know about the seeds you grow--their geographicial origin, relationship with other plants, germination requirements such as light, moisture and temperature, together with...
  90. The basic and technical knowledge for all tree seed-related activities are compiled in this handbook. General considerations provide the necessary background to ensure the genetical quality both in seed production and in seed collection. It will be a useful guide for foresters, extension...
  91. This manual is intended primarily to train seed collectors, seed-plant managers, seed analysts, and nursery managers, but it can serve as a resource for any training course in forest regeneration. It includes both temperate and tropical tree species of all intended uses. The manual covers the...

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