The Future Starts with Seeds
Gerardo says, “Having food to eat and seeds to plant – even after a poor rainy season – is the best thing that has happened to us!” He knows from personal experience the pain of not having the necessary seeds to plant during the rainy season and having to migrate to find work in order to survive.
You can always find Gerardo, his wife, Pilar, and their two adult sons out in the fields, planting and doing anything they can to make a living from the land. “I have been farming for as long as I can remember,” he says with love and pride. They joined their community’s seed bank about seven years ago, and Gerardo is the current treasurer. When they first started, the majority of the farmers in town were part of the seed bank.
Then things started to change, and the community experienced poor results harvest after harvest. The rainy seasons were bad, either too much or not enough rain, and the soil deteriorated because they did not know how to care for it. Some years they lost everything and did not have enough to eat, so they couldn’t afford to save seed for the next planting, and found themselves in the grim spiral Gerardo describes.
Enter Fundación San Lucas staff, who made it clear that locally-controlled and well-managed seed banks are a sustainable answer to climate change. They helped farmers increase their resilience and mitigate the problems of seed shortages that are both a result and a cause of food insecurity.
Fundación San Lucas staff worked with the farmers on a variety of agricultural techniques proven to improve soils, yields, and the quality and quantity of crops. Diversification makes total crop failures less likely, improves family nutrition, and allows farmers to sell a portion of what they grow for much-needed income. Since Gerardo and his peers joined the program, seed-bank membership has steadily grown. They’ve improved their storage space and the way they organize and manage the seeds. They have diversified the variety and quantity of seeds they save in order to reduce losses, and are also saving grains to ensure they all have enough to eat.
Gerardo believes he speaks for all the farmers when he says, “Now we are confident in our food security, and that we will have the seeds needed to be able to plant each season.”
Nicaragua Conquista Nandaime Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Fundación San Lucas