Seed bank initiative
Namibia depends mainly on South Africa’s food production and processing. Equally so, long-standing issues related to deforestation have contributed to the instability of local crop production, resulting in increased reliance on imported foods such as rice for a large portion of the diet. For these reasons, the Common Good Foundation has embarked on the initiative of building a state-of-the-art Seed Bank and a fully-equipped Bio-Technology Laboratory.
The overall goal of this initiative is to launch a native seed bank that will enable seed engineering and storage in that it will stimulate sustainable agriculture in Northern Namibia and the country at large, in an effort to improve the health and economy of the local population as well as contributing to the stability of the local crop production, resulting in reduced reliance on imported foods.
The Seed Bank’s main objectives include but are not limited to focusing on seeds that yield crops that are tolerant of Namibia’s weather conditions and engineering seeds that are suitable for areas that are changing toward arid climates but with emphasis on seeds that yield crops with increased nutritional qualities, improved taste, texture, appearance, and engineer other seeds according to the environmental needs.
Ongoing, the Common Good Foundation is running and trialing a “Seed Collector Initiative” from participating producers and retailers whilst running the permaculture training program offering small-scale farmers training on seed storage, soil preparation, and treatment to enable them to have a great harvest. Seeds solicited from the “Seed Collector Initiative” will be collected and stored to establish the seed bank. Long-term, seeds from the bank will be shared (freely) with farmers through the permaculture training program.