Seeds are a strategic starting point for any agricultural development program or project, and good seeds are undoubtedly one of the most essential 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 whose risk-taking capacity is low, what matters most are yield-dependable, climate-smart, sustainable seeds. Seed security–access to enough quality seed at planting times–is paramount.
ECHO Asia has operated a seed bank in Thailand since 2009, the first seed bank outside ECHO Inc. Florida Headquarters. The goal of the ECHO Asia Seed Bank is to serve as a resource facility for agricultural and community development workers within the region who wish to experiment with and 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 acquire small sample packets for free or purchase bulk orders of selected seeds. The “ECHO Asia Seed Catalog” aids this transaction.
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 while conducting training and networking activities with partners. This ECHO Asia Seed Bank Catalog version 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 this catalog will significantly 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.