Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Swapping Seeds in Svay Rieng

The third and final community seed fair related to the study of regional home gardening and seed saving that was made possible by a Hort CRSP (USAID supported) Exploratory Grant took place in Svay Rieng in southwest Cambodia on March 30, 2011. 55 participants from 11 communities brought a total of 350 packets of homegrown seed to share.

Of the three seed saving events held between January and March, I believe that the Cambodia event was the most successful. Vinny and the team did a great job of refining the process, cutting down significantly on the time required to register the participants and record the types of seeds brought to share. Following a brief message from a local agricultural official and a session that I led related to improved seed production and saving techniques, snacks were served. Afterward, the participants were divided into village groupings to allow each person to introduce seeds that they brought. Afterward, seeds of particularly interesting varieties from each village were described to the large group. This led to a very enthusiastic swap. Post-swap surveys indicated that on average, each participant both gave and received five packets of seed.

Like the previous seed swap in Mae Yao (Chiang Rai), greater interest and participation may have been due to the broader geographic area of the communities represented. But unlike Mae Yao, there was must less ethnic diversity as all of the participants at the Svay Rieng event were Khmer.

Following a wonderful meal, the seed swap ended informally with an impromptu dance (which I managed to evade but film).

1 comment:

  1. Great post.Thanks for sharing such a useful information with us.