Genebanks conserve key resources for handling current and future challenges to food production and security. The role of genebanks has evolved from primarily serving plant breeders to include long-term biodiversity conservation and distribution to a wider user community. International policy frameworks stress the complementarity of ex situ and in situ conservation and management, but a dichotomy prevails in the public and scholarly agricultural development discourse. Here, we present a study of existing linkages between the two conservation and management approaches, their challenges and future options. First, we show that farmers, farmer organizations, and NGOs now comprise a considerable user group of genebank material, receiving at least 8% of the seed samples distributed from international genebanks in 2015, on par with the proportion distributed to the commercial seed sector. Second, we map and categorize approaches to introduce genebank material into farmers’ seed systems. Based on a survey, interviews and a literature review we categorize direct genebank-farmer linkages into six categories: (1) Reintroduction, (2) Emergency Seed Interventions, (3) Community Seed Banks, (4) Participatory Plant Breeding, (5) Variety Introduction, and (6) Integrative Seed System Approaches. We investigate the merits of these approaches as alternative and complementary pathways for enhancing farmers’ access to crop diversity. Finally, we discuss challenges related to scale, sustainability and legal frame conditions and point out opportunities to realize synergies to achieve the ultimate goal of the ex situ conservation agenda and the farmers’ rights agenda, namely to strengthen farmers’ access to suitable seeds.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Referring to a Wikipedia site seems appropriate for this decentralized informal movement of movements.
Abay, F., Waters-Bayer, A., & Bjørnstad, Å. (2008). Farmers' seed management and innovation in varietal selection: Implications for barley breeding in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Ambio: A Journal of the Human Environment, 37(4), 312–320.
Abay, F., de Boef, W., & Bjørnstad, Å. (2011). Network analysis of barley seed flows in Tigray, Ethiopia: Supporting the design of strategies that contribute to on-farm management of plant genetic resources. Plant Genetic Resources, 9(04), 495–505.
Almekinders, C., & Hardon, J. (2006). Bringing farmers back into breeding: Experiences with participatory plant breeding and challenges for institutionalisation, AgroSpecial 5. The Netherlands: Agromisa Foundation.
Ana, D. (2015). Unfreezing the seed: State, expertise and patriotism at the Suceava Gene Bank. Budapest: Central European University.
Andersen, R., & Winge, T. (2011). Linking community seedbanks and farmers’ rights. In A. P. Kroglund, A. Wilhelmsen, B. B. Torheim, K. Ulsrud, P. Shresta, R. Ortiz, et al. (Eds.), Banking for the future: Savings, security and seeds. A short study of community seed banks in Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Nepal, Thailand, Zambia and Zimbabwe (pp. 5-6). The development fund, Grøset: Oslo.
Andersen, R., & Winge, T. (2013). Realising Farmers' rights to crop genetic resources: Success stories and best practices. Abingdon: Routledge.
Andersen, R., Borromeo, T. H., & Altoveros, N. C. (2013). A community register in the Philippines. In R. Andersen & T. Winge (Eds.), Realising Farmers' rights to crop genetic resources: Success stories and best practices. Abingdon: Routledge.
Argumedo, A. (2008). The Potato Park, Peru: Conserving agrobiodiversity in an Andean indigenous biocultural heritage area. In T. Amend, J. Brown, A. Kothari, A. Phillips, & S. Stolton (Eds.), Protected landscapes and agrobiodiversity values (pp. 45–58). Heidelberg: Kasparek Verlag.
Arndorfer, M., Kajtna, B., & Vorderwülbecke, B. (2009). Integrating ex situ and on-farm conservation approaches in the management of local vegetable diversity in Austria. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 817, 333–340.
Asdal, Å. (2011). Bevaringssorter/tradisjonssorter - aktuelle tiltak i regi av Norsk genressurssenter (conservation varieties/traditional varieties - relevant activities administered by the Norwegian genetic resource center). In Fagsamling om Gamle Kornsorter (Workshop on Old Cereal Varieties), Sigdal, Norway, 2011. Ås: Norwegian Genetic Resource Center.
Asfaw, A., Almekinders, C. J., Blair, M. W., & Struik, P. C. (2012). Participatory approach in common bean (Phaseolus Vulgaris L.) breeding for drought tolerance for southern Ethiopia. Plant Breeding, 131(1), 125–134.
Bänziger, M., & de Meyer, J. (2002). Collaborative maize variety development for stress-prone environments in southern Africa. Farmers, scientists, and plant breeding: Integrating knowledge and practice (pp. 269-296). Oxon: CABI.
Berg, T. (1997). Devolution of plant breeding. In L. Sperling & Loevinsohn (Eds.), Using diversity: Enhancing and maintaining genetic resources on-farm. Proceedings of a workshop held 19-21 June 1995, in New Delhi. New Delhi: International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Bioversity. (2016a). The crowdsourcing approach: Seeds for Needs Factsheet 2. In Bioversity International (Ed.), (Vol. 2, pp. 2). Rome: Bioversity International.
Bioversity (2016b). The ‘Seeds for Needs’ initiative in Ethiopia: Integrating farmer and scientist knowledge. In Bioversity International (Ed.), (Vol. 1, pp. 4). Rome: Bioversity International.
Borges Días, T. A., da Fonseca Ferreira, M. A. J., Barbieri, R. L., França Teixeira, F., & de Azevedo, S. G. (2013). Gene banks that promote on-farm management through the reintroduction of local varieties in Brazil. In W. S. de Boef, A. Subedi, N. Peroni, M. Thijssen, & E. O'Keefe (Eds.), Community biodiversity management: Promoting resilience and the conservation of plant genetic resources (pp. 91–95). London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Bragdon, S., Jarvis, D. I., Gauchan, D., Mar, I., Hue, N. N., Balma, D., et al. (2009). The agricultural biodiversity policy development process: Exploring means of policy development to support the on-farm management of crop genetic diversity. International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management, 5(1), 10–20.
Bramel-Cox, P. (2000). Toward establishing links between farmers and the ICRISAT genebank. In E. Friis-Hansen & B. Sthapit (Eds.), Participatory approaches to the conservation and use of plant genetic resources (pp. 69–74). Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.
Burke, M. B., Lobell, D. B., & Guarino, L. (2009). Shifts in African crop climates by 2050, and the implications for crop improvement and genetic resources conservation. Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions, 19(3), 317–325. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.04.003.
Buruchara, R. A., Sperling, L., Ewell, P., & Kirkby, R. (2002). The role of research institutions in seed–related disaster relief: Seeds of hope experiences in Rwanda. Disasters, 26(4), 288–301.
Campesina, L. V. (2015). You are destroying the treaty on plant genetic resources. https://viacampesina.org/en/: La via Campesina. Accessed 26 Apr 2017.
Ceccarelli, S. (2015). Efficiency of plant breeding. Crop Science, 55(1), 87–97.
Ceccarelli, S., & Grando, S. (2007). Decentralized-participatory plant breeding: An example of demand driven research. Euphytica, 155(3), 349–360.
Ceccarelli, S., Grando, S., Bailey, E., Amri, A., El-Felah, M., Nassif, F., et al. (2001). Farmer participation in barley breeding in Syria, Morocco and Tunisia. Euphytica, 122(3), 521–536.
Chable, V., Dawson, J., Bocci, R., & Goldringer, I. (2014). Seeds for organic agriculture: Development of participatory plant breeding and farmers’ networks in france. In Organic farming, prototype for sustainable agricultures (pp. 383–400). Netherlands: Springer.
Challinor, A. J., Koehler, A.-K., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Whitfield, S., & Das, B. (2016). Current warming will reduce yields unless maize breeding and seed systems adapt immediately. Nature Climate Change, 6(10), 954–958.
Chambers, R., & Ghildyal, B. (1985). Agricultural research for resource-poor farmers: The farmer-first-and-last model. Agricultural Administration, 20(1), 1–30.
Chambers, R., Pacey, A., & Thrupp, L. A. (1994). Farmer first: Farmer innovation and agricultural research. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.
CIP. (2016). Una visita al saber tradicional para celebrar a la papa. http://cipotato.org/press_release/una-visita-al-saber-tradicional-para-celebrar-la-papa/. Accessed 08 Nov 2016.
CIP. (n. d.). La Ruta del Condor. http://cipotato.org/es/programas-de-investigacion/banco-genetico/la-ruta-del-condor/. Accessed 09 Nov 2016.
Clancy, E., & Vernooy, R. (2016). Realizing farmers’ rights through community-based agricultural biodiversity management. Rome: Bioversity International.
Conway, G. (2012). One billion hungry: Can we feed the world? Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Coomes, O. T., McGuire, S. J., Garine, E., Caillon, S., Mckey, D., Demeulenaere, E., et al. (2015). Farmer seed networks make a limited contribution to agriculture? Four common misconceptions. Food Policy, 56, 41–50.
Correa, C. M. (2015). Plant variety protection in developing countries: A tool for designing a sui generis plant variety protection system: An alternative to UPOV 1991. By: Association for Plant Breeding for the benefit of society (APBREBES) and its member organizations: Berne declaration, the development fund, SEARICE and third world network.
Dalle, S. P., & Walsh, S. (2015). USC Canada's experiance in supporting community seed banks in Africa, Asia and the Americas. In R. Vernooy, P. Shrestha, & B. Sthapit (Eds.), Community seed banks: Origins, evolution and prospects (pp. 212–230). London: Earthscan from Routledge.
David, S. (2004). Farmer seed enterprises: A sustainable approach to seed delivery? Agriculture and Human Values, 21(4), 387–397.
Davies, L., & Allender, C. J. (2017). Who is sowing our seeds? A systematic review of the use of plant genetic resources in research. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-017-0491-7 Online first 1-10.
de Boef, W. S., Dempewolf, H., Byakweli, J. M., & Engels, J. M. M. (2010). Integrating genetic resource conservation and sustainable development into strategies to increase the robustness of seed systems. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 34(5), 504–531.
de Boef, W. S., Subedi, A., Peroni, N., Thijssen, M., & O'Keeffe, E. (2013). Community biodiversity management: Promoting resilience and the conservation of plant genetic resources. New York: Routledge.
de Wit, M. M. (2016). Are we losing diversity? Navigating ecological, political, and epistemic dimensions of agrobiodiversity conservation. Agriculture and Human Values, 33(3), 625–640.
Desclaux, D., Ceccarelli, S., Navazio, J., Coley, M., Trouche, G., Aguirre, S., et al. (2012). Centralized or decentralized breeding: The potentials of participatory approaches for low-input and organic agriculture. In Organic crop breeding (pp. 99–123). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.
Dulloo, M., Thormann, I., Fiorino, E., De Felice, S., Rao, V., & Snook, L. (2013). Trends in research using plant genetic resources from germplasm collections: From 1996 to 2006. Crop Science, 53(4), 1217–1227.
Esquinas-Alcazar, J. (2005). Protecting crop genetic diversity for food security: Political, ethical and technical challenges. Nature Reviews Genetics, 6, 946–953.
Evenson, R. E., & Gollin, D. (2003). Assessing the impact of the green revolution, 1960 to 2000. Science, 300(5620), 758–762.
Falcon, W. P., & Fowler, C. (2002). Carving up the commons—Emergence of a new international regime for germplasm development and transfer. Food Policy, 27(3), 197–222.
FAO. (1993). Plant Genetic Resources Service. Quality declared seed system. FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 185. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO. (2009). The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (p. 60). Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO. (2010). Seeds in emergencies: a technical handbook (FAO plant production and protection paper 202). Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO. (2011). Second global plan of action for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (p. 91). Rome: FAO.
FAO. (2013). Fifth session of the governing body, resolution 8/2013, implementation of article 9, Farmers' rights. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO. (2014). Genebank standards for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (Rev ed.). Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO. (2015a). Opinions and advice of the Ad Hoc Technical Advisory Committee on the Multilateral System and the Standard Material Transfer Agreement. In FAO (Ed.). Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO. (2015b). Sixth session of the governing body of the international treaty on plant genetic rousources for food and agriculture, 5–9 October 2015. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO. (2016a). Food security capacity building: Seeds. http://www.fao.org/in-action/food-security-capacity-building/project-components/seeds/en/#c257003. Accessed 16 Nov 2016.
FAO. (2016b). Seed security and rehabilitation. http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/thematic-sitemap/theme/seeds-pgr/seed-sys/security/en/. Accessed 16 Nov 2016.
FAO. (2016c). Seed security assessment: A practitioner's guide. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO. (2017a). Sixteenth regular session of the commission on genetic resources for food and agriculture, Rome, 30 January – 3 February 2017. In FAO (Ed.). Rome: FAO.
FAO. (2017b). Webpage of the Easy-SMTA. https://mls.planttreaty.org/itt/. Accessed 01 Sept 2017.
Fenzi, M., & Bonneuil, C. (2016). From “genetic resources” to “ecosystems services”: A century of science and global policies for crop diversity conservation. Culture Agriculture Food and Environment, 38(2), 72–83.
Feyissa, R., Gezu, G., Tsegaye, B., & Desalegn, T. (2013). On-farm management of plant genetic resources through community seed banks in Ethiopia. In W. Simon de Boef, A. Subedi, N. Peroni, M. Thijssen, & E. O’Keeffe (Eds.), Community biodiversity management- promoting resilience and the conservation of plant genetic resources (pp. 26–31). New York: Routledge.
Fowler, C. (2013). Complementarity and conflict. In V. D. Nazarea, R. E. Rhoades, & J. Andrews-Swann (Eds.), Seeds of resistance, seeds of hope: Place and agency in the conservation of biodiversity (pp. 196–2013). Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Fowler, C., Smale, M., & Gaiji, S. (2001). Unequal exchange? Recent transfers of agricultural resources and their implications for developing countries. Development Policy Review, 19(2), 181–204.
Frankel, O. H. (1974). Genetic conservation: Our evolutionary responsibility. Genetics, 78(1), 53–65.
Frankel, O. (1986). Genetic resources: The founding years. Part II: The Movement’s constituent assembly. Diversity, 2(8), 30–32.
Frankel, O., & Bennett, E. (Eds.). (1970). Genetic resources in plants—Their exploration and conservation. Oxford: Blackwell.
GFAR, DF, & CEPA. (2015). Capacity building material for the realization of farmers' rights in Malawi: farmers' rights related to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Malawi. Oslo: Global Forum on Agricultural Research, The Development Fund of Norway and Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy.
Gibson, R., Mpembe, I., & Mwanga, R. (2011). Benefits of participatory plant breeding (PPB) as exemplified by the first-ever officially released PPB-bred sweet potato cultivar. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 149(05), 625–632.
Global Alliance. (2016). The future of food: Seeds of resilience, a compendium of perspectives on agricultural biodiversity from around the world.: Global alliance for the future of food.
Graddy, T. G. (2014). Situating in situ: A critical geography of agricultural biodiversity conservation in the Peruvian Andes and beyond. Antipode, 46(2), 426–454.
Gyawali, S., Sthapit, B., Bhandari, B., Bajracharya, J., Shrestha, P., Upadhyay, M., et al. (2010). Participatory crop improvement and formal release of Jethobudho rice landrace in Nepal. Euphytica, 176(1), 59–78.
Harlan, J. R. (1975). Our vanishing genetic resources. Science, 188(4188), 617–621.
Hassena, M., van den Broek, J., de Boef, W., Thijssen, M., & Louwaars, N. (2012). Integrated seed sector development: Experiences in Africa. In The defining moments in ethiopian seed system (pp. 327–339). Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research.
Helicke, N. A. (2015). Seed exchange networks and food system resilience in the United States. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 5(4), 636–649.
Hindess, K. (2016). Whose seeds are they anyway? Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine 6. January 2016. https://theecologist.org/2016/jan/06/real-farming-report-whose-seeds-are-they-anyway. Accessed 26 Apr 2017
Hoffmann, V., Probst, K., & Christinck, A. (2007). Farmers and researchers: How can collaborative advantages be created in participatory research and technology development? Agriculture and Human Values, 24, 355–368.
Huamán, Z., & Schmiediche, P. (1999). The potato genetic resources held in trust by the international potato center (CIP) in Peru. Potato Research, 42, 413–426.
IRRI. (2016). Cambodia and IRRI. http://books.irri.org/Cambodia_IRRI_brochure.pdf. Accessed 26 Apr 2017.
ISSD. (2017a). Integrated seed sector development Ethiopia programme. http://www.issdethiopia.org/. Accessed 26 Apr 2017.
ISSD. (2017b). Integrated seed sector development, course web page, Wageningen UR. http://www.wur.nl/en/show/CDIcourse_ISSD_2017.htm. Accessed 26 Apr 2017.
Jarvis, D. I., Hodgkin, T., Sthapit, B. R., Fadda, C., & Lopez-Noriega, I. (2011). An heuristic framework for identifying multiple ways of supporting the conservation and use of traditional crop varieties within the agricultural production system. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 30(1–2), 125–176.
Kendall, J., & Gras, E. (2013). The Maison de la Semence Paysanne and diversity platform: Promoting agrobiodiversity in France. In W. S. de Boef, A. Subedi, N. Peroni, M. Thijssen, & E. O'Keefe (Eds.), Community biodiversity management: Promoting resilience and the conservation of plant genetic resources (pp. 43–50). London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Kloppenburg, J. R. (2005). First the seed: The political economy of plant biotechnology: Univ of Wisconsin press, Madison.
Laurie, S., & Magoro, M. (2008). Evaluation and release of new sweet potato varieties through farmer participatory selection. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 3(10), 672–676.
LI-BIRD. (2016). Safeguarding seeds in the aftermath of the earthquake. http://www.libird.org/app/news/view.aspx?record_id=35. Accessed 26 Apr 2017.
Louwaars, N. P., & de Boef, W. S. (2012). Integrated seed sector development in Africa: A conceptual framework for creating coherence between practices, programs, and policies. Journal of Crop Improvement, 26(1), 39–59.
McGuire, S., & Sperling, L. (2013). Making seed systems more resilient to stress. Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions, 23(3), 644–653.
McGuire, S., & Sperling, L. (2016). Seed systems smallholder farmers use. Food Security, 8(1), 179–195.
Melaku, W., Awegechew, T., & Tesfaye, T. (2000). Participatory approaches linking farmer access to genebanks: Ethiopia. In E. Friis-Hansen & B. R. Sthapit (Eds.), Participatory approaches to the con-servation and use of plant genetic resources (pp. 149–153). Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.
Meza, C., Rutti, A., Gómez, R., & Zapata, F. (2012). Conservación y uso de la agrobiodiversidad: Guía para la implementación de bancos comunales de semillas. Lima: SGCAN, Instituto de Montaña, UICN-Sur.
Morris, M. L., & Bellon, M. R. (2004). Participatory plant breeding research: Opportunities and challenges for the international crop improvement system. Euphytica, 136(1), 21–35.
Nazarea, V. D., & Rhoades, R. E. (2013). Conservation beyond design: An introduction. In V. D. Nazarea, R. E. Rhoades, & J. Andrews-Swann (Eds.), Seeds of resistance, seeds of hope: Place and agency in the conservation of biodiversity (pp. 3–16). Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Nesbitt, H. J. (1997). Rice production in Cambodia. Manila: International Rice Research Institute.
Nishikawa, Y., & Winge, T. (2013). The Hiroshima agricultural Gene Bank: Re-introducing local varieties, maintaining traditional knowledge. In R. Andersen & T. Winge (Eds.), Realising farmers' rights to crop genetic resources : Success stories and best practices (pp. 167–178). London: Earthscan from Routledge.
Pistorius, R. (1997). Scientists, plants and politics – A history of the plant genetic resources movement. Rome: IPGRI.
Potato Park, ANDES, & CIP. (2004). Agreement on the repatriation, restoration and monitoring of agrobiodiversity of native potatoes and associated community knowledge systems. https://www.grain.org/article/entries/2165-andes-potato-park-cip-agreement. Accessed 08 Nov 2016.
Richards, P., & Ruivenkamp, G. (1997). Seeds and survival: Crop genetic resources in war and reconstruction in Africa. Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.
Rubenstein, K. D., Smale, M., & Widrlechner, M. P. (2006). Demand for genetic resources and the US National Plant Germplasm System. Crop Science, 46(3), 1021–1031.
Scoones, I., & Thompson, J. (2011). The politics of seed in Africa's green revolution: Alternative narratives and competing pathways. IDS Bulletin, 42(4), 1–23.
SeedSystem.org.org. (2016a). Field assessments around the world. http://SeedSystem.org.org/field-assessments-action-plans/. Accessed 16 Nov 2016.
SeedSystem.org.org. (2016b). Seed system: strengthening smallholder farmer seed systems. http://SeedSystem.org.org/. Accessed 16 Nov 2016.
Smale, M., & Day-Rubenstein, K. (2002). The demand for crop genetic resources: International use of the US national plant germplasm system. World Development, 30(9), 1639–1655.
Sperling, L. (2008). When disaster strikes: A guide to assessing seed system security. Cali: Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical.
Sperling, L., & Longley, C. (2002). Editorial: Beyond seeds and tools: Effective support to farmers in emergencies. Disasters, 26(4), 283–287.
Sperling, L., & McGuire, S. (2010). Persistent myths about emergency seed aid. Food Policy, 35, 195–201.
Sperling, L., Ashby, J. A., Smith, M. E., Weltzien, E., & McGuire, S. (2001). A framework for analyzing participatory plant breeding approaches and results. Euphytica, 122(3), 439–450.
Sperling, L., Cooper, H. D., & Remington, T. (2008). Moving towards more effective seed aid. Journal of Development Studies, 44(4), 586–612.
Sthapit, B. (2012). Emerging theory and practice: community seed banks, seed system resilience and food security. In Community seed banks in Nepal: Past, present, future. Proceedings of a National Workshop, Pokhara, Nepal, 14–15 June 2012, Rome, Italy, 2012 (pp. 16–40): LI-BIRD and Bioversity International.
Sumberg, J., & Thompson, J. (2012). Contested agronomy: Agricultural research in a changing world. Abingdon: Routledge.
Sumberg, J., Thompson, J., & Woodhouse, P. (2013). Why agronomy in the developing world has become contentious. Agriculture and Human Values, 30(1), 71–83.
Tapia Bastidas, C. G., & Carrera Rueda, H. F. (2013). Practices that contribute to promoting and appreciating Andean crops and identity in Cotacachi, Ecuador. In W. S. de Boef, A. Subedi, N. Peroni, M. Thijssen, & E. O'Keefe (Eds.), Community biodiversity management: Promoting resilience and the conservation of plant genetic resources (pp. 77–82). London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Tay, D. (2009). Model genebank concept: CIP Genebank as an example. In 15th Triennial International Society for Tropical Root Crops Symposium, Lima, Peru, 2009 (pp. 5–11).
Teshome, H. M., & Ortiz, R. (2015). Norway's development fund: Supporting community seed bank practices. In R. Vernooy, P. Shrestha, & B. Sthapit (Eds.), Community seed banks: Origins, evolution and prospects (pp. 194–205). Abingdon: Routledge.
The Development Fund Norway. (2011). Banking for the future: Savings, security and seeds. In A short study of community seed banks in Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Nepal, Thailand, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Oslo: Grøset.
The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch Consortium. (2016). Keeping seeds in peoples’ hands. Berlin: LokayDRUCK.
Thijssen, M. H., Bishaw, Z., Beshir, A., & De Boef, W. S. (2008). Farmers, seeds and varieties. Supporting informal seed supply in Ethiopia. Wageningen International: Wageningen.
van Etten, J. (2011). Crowdsourcing crop improvement in sub-saharan africa: A proposal for a scalable and inclusive approach to food security. IDS Bulletin, 42(4), 102–110.
Vernooy, R., Sthapit, B., Galluzzi, G., & Shrestha, P. (2014). The multiple functions and services of community seedbanks. Resources, 3(4), 636–656.
Vernooy, R., Shrestha, P., & Sthapit, B. (2015). Community seed banks: Origins, evolution and prospects. Abingdon: Routledge.
Visser, B. (2016). The impact of national seed laws on the functioning of small-scale seed systems: A country-case study. The Hague: Oxfam Novib.
Walsh, S and Remington, T and Kugbei, S and Ojiewo, C O (2015) Review of Community Seed Production Practices in Africa Part 1: Implementation Strategies and Models. In: Workshop Proceedings on Community Seed Production, 9-11 December 2013. Addis Ababa: ICRISAT & FAO
Witcombe, J. R., Joshi, A., Joshi, K., & Sthapit, B. (1996). Farmer participatory crop improvement. I. Varietal selection and breeding methods and their impact on biodiversity. Experimental Agriculture, 32(04), 445–460.
This article is based on a report written on a grant from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). We thank all survey respondents and experts interviewed for taking the time to participate. We thank the Global Crop Diversity Trust for providing the distribution data from the CGIAR genebanks and for their support in setting up the electronic survey used in this study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.
This paper is based on the report From Genebanks to Farmers. A study of approaches to introduce genebank material to farmers’ seed systems. Noragric Report no 80. 2017. https://www.nmbu.no/en/faculty/landsam/department/noragric/publications/reports.
About this article
Cite this article
Westengen, O.T., Skarbø, K., Mulesa, T.H. et al. Access to genes: linkages between genebanks and farmers’ seed systems. Food Sec. 10, 9–25 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-017-0751-6
- Plant Genetic Resources
- Ex situ conservation
- In situ conservation
- Seed System Development