For the past four years, Savitri has supported The Gaia Foundation on their hugely important work in contributing to an ever-growing national and international seed sovereignty movement.

Our partnership with Gaia started in 2018, in support of a seed revival project in Zimbabwe and Uganda with Earthlore, their local partner. The goal of the project was to promote regenerative agriculture, supporting small farmers—especially women—to enhance their knowledge of indigenous farming practices and seed diversity, and to safeguard seed & food sovereignty for generations to come. With locals beginning to experience the rapid depletion of their soils, they sought to convene in an effort to identify and preserve their remaining ancestral seed varieties. In Bulisa, Uganda, women held regular community dialogues with their elders and founded the Tuliime Hamwe Mbibo Ziikade Women’s Group. They now have a shared garden of their own where they plant, multiply, store and transfer their returning knowledge about indigenous seeds to others.

Through this learning on seed sovereignty and understanding its importance world-over, we came to realise that the environmental health of our planet goes hand-in-hand with protecting and restoring locally produced organic seed.

In 2019, Savitri shifted its efforts closer to home through supporting the first phase of Gaia’s Seed Sovereignty Programme in the UK and Ireland. This 3-year project is designed to grow & support the production of open-pollinated, locally produced seed, further building on the international movement towards seed sovereignty.

As the Covid-19 pandemic increasingly sheds light on the fragility of the UK’s food and farming systems, it is clear that the production and preservation of organic, local and agroecological seed is needed now more than ever. Not only to restore our depleted soils and preserve traditional & resilient seed varieties, but also to ensure that we as consumers have access to healthy nutritious food.

To find out more about the importance of locally produced seed, head over to Gaia’s website.

Photos © Canva / Gaia Foundation