Global Seed Savers works on a grassroots level to help return farmers to the collective indigenous knowledge and practice of seed saving. Through encouraging smallholder farmers in the Philippines to return to the practice of growing and saving their own seeds, we are providing farmers with the tools and support needed to be independent, self-sustainable, and to restore sovereignty over their food system and their lives. We do this through our comprehensive programs - technical and educational training, seed saving and establishing seed libraries, and encouraging organic and sustainable farming practices.
What started with a core group of seven farmers has grown into an official farmers association, the Benguet Association of Seed Savers (BASS) now with 20 active members and growing. Our model is also spreading to Cebu as we launch the Cebu Seed Savers and build this nationwide and world connected movement to restore food sovereignty and ensure farmers access to locally produced seeds. Since 2015, we have:
Conducted over 5,000 hours of technical training programs.
Trained over 2,000 farmers in seed saving and agroecology practices, across eight regions of the Philippines.
Directly founded two seed libraries and influenced the creation of two others that are being locally led. We know our model works and are ready to see it expand!
Why do we need to save seeds?
Climate Resilience. When Typhoon Mangkhut ravaged the northern part of the Philippines in September of 2018, all of the members of our BASS, the Benguet Association of Seed Savers, were affected. We were able to prove the value of having a community-led seed library because our partner farmers were immediately able to get seeds from the library. This helped assuage the impacts of Mangkhut and showed us that how vital having seeds is during times of natural disasters and calamities.
Preserving Diversity. The Philippines is considered as one of the megabiodiverse places in the world. This rich archipelago is blessed with over 20,000 kinds of flora and fauna with a high rate of endemism. About 2/3 or the plant species are believed to be endemic. Diversity is crucial to survival. Saving seeds ensures that we have a genetically diverse pool of resources in this ever changing climate.
Food Security. Saving seeds of indigenous crops along with the seeds of high value crops ensures that we are helping to preserve species that are vital to food security.
Food Sovereignty. Saving seeds shows other farmers that there is a safer and better option when growing food.
Seed Sovereignty. Saving seeds ensures that seeds are kept in the hands of farmers.
Interconnectedness. Saving seeds helps us ground our work in the essence of these words: Know seeds, know life. When we hold seeds in our hands, we are essentially holding the past, the present and the future. We hold a magnificent self-replicating organism that has the ability to push life forward. What we sow today, we will reap tomorrow.
If these reasons resonate with you, please support our cause.
Karen Lee Hizola
HOW TO GIVE
Donate via this page with a card or pay-pal or make a local bank transfer to the account below:
Global Seed Savers Philippines, Inc., BPI Baguio City Session Road Account #:0573-3706-27