Penn State University
ECHO Asia Regional Office, International Sustainable Development Studies Institute, Maejo University (Thailand)
Thomas Gill; Rick Burnette; Laura Meitzner Yoder; Abram Bicksler; Yongyooth Srigiofun
Informal seed systems provide access to locally-adapted indigenous crops and constitute an essential component of sustainable production for resource-poor farmers. Current efforts to identify, conserve, improve and disseminate this rich genetic resource are insufficient. Development of these locally valued crops will set the foundation for increased and improved production, marketing and profitability. This project increases the impact and reach of these informal seed systems locally and regionally. Specifically, we are forming an effective team that builds linkages between Northern Thailand hill tribe farmers, a local innovative seed bank, and extension training systems.
1) surveys of key indigenous crops and collection of local crop knowledge, 2) activities promoting emergence of an effective regional seed bank, including training of key personnel, 3) development of an indigenous seed system conference and seed exchange, 4) improved human and institutional capacity, strategically focused on entrepreneurial women.