Jul 26, 2017

Supporting farmers through access to quality seeds

Since 2009, Seed Savers Network has been in the business of helping small holder farmers access the seeds. Over the years, the organization has established close contact with over 50,000 farmers in different parts of Kenya.

The founder Mr. Daniel Wanjama alludes the success of the organization to access to providing training and non-conventional seeds and planting materials to farmers thus improving food security.  Apart from the extension services, and provision of seedlings, the organization also provides training on ecological farming, market linkages youth mentorship and internship programs.

The organization educates the public on the importance of utilization of cultural food items that have been bypassed by mainstream agricultural research and development. Using a multi-pronged and interdisciplinary approach that enables farmers to attain food security, food sovereignty and seed access, their programs encompass four aspects namely ecological, legal, economic and women empowerment. Over the years, Seed savers Network has satisfied over 105,000 farmers in various projects.

Situated in Gilgil, the institution suppliers’ thousands of fruits trees seedlings, indigenous vegetables and herbs.

The organization is currently engaged in the incubation programme at the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC). They are attached to a mentor in order to enhance the social entrepreneurship component of Seed Savers work to help ensure the success of the tissue culture laboratory, as well as to improve practices in ongoing entrepreneurial activities, like the sale of avocado trees and  soil testing.

The organization has won a number of accolades like the Agro-Biodiversity prices in seed fairs. They also won an award for the Best bioslury Extension Service Provider in Kenya in 2012.

Earlier this year, the organization won the first prize for the most innovative business idea in the Open Source Seed Systems pitching competition organized by HIVOS. Seed Savers intends to establish a tissue culture laboratory at a cost of KSh5.3 million. This will help multiply seeds, act as seed bank and clean seeds for small holder farmers and promote the best local varieties that farmers are growing.

 

By Mercy Mumo

 

 

 

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