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Chirundu Farmers tour the National Genebank

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

In a bid to promote the conservation of locally owned seeds, CTDT in partnership with the National GeneBank has continued to work with rural communities of Zambia in supporting the creation of community seed banks for seed security in the country.

CTDT and the National Genebank recently held a familiarisation tour of the Genebank for farmers from Chirundu district. During the tour , CTDT project Manager, Juliet Nangamba said the purpose of the familiarisation tour was to strengthen linkages between the National Genebank and the community seed banks that are owned by the community.

“The reason we are seeing our local crops not performing well is because we do not properly take care of our seeds which forces us to buy hybrid seeds, “She explained.

And Agriculture Research Officer at the National Genebank, Womba Kamusaki explained the importance of Seed banks to communities, the nation, region and the world at large.

During the tour of the cassava field gene bank, Mrs. Kamusaki pointed out that the National Gene bank which was established in 1989 houses a wide variety of local seeds which were collected from different parts of the country from the local farmers themselves.

She further explained to the visiting farmers that the reason they have gene banks is to preserve crops that might otherwise diminish due to factors as climate change and urbanization among other factors.

The research officer went on to explain the different processes that are undertaken for seed preservation at the National Gene bank.

At the same event, a lead farmer, Mr. Julius Mufana expressed happiness for the opportunity to visit the National Gene bank which taught the farmers the correct procedure to follow in seed preservation.

Mr. Mufana advised other farmers to take keen interest in seed preservation through the depositing at the seed banks.

He however expressed concern that farmers have got a tendency to think that seeds only come from big companies that supply seeds not knowing that they can preserve seeds on our own.

“I therefore advise my fellow farmers to preserve seeds on their own using the same method we have learnt at the Gene Bank today, “he said.

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