Joanne Hutchinson —
We work in Mongu and Kalabo, Western Province Zambia, an area which has very little commerce and lacks viable seed varieties to sustain the population. In this part of Zambia, 80% of the population lives in poverty, the highest level in the country. To help alleviate some of the food insecurity in the area due to these high levels of poverty, we collect non-GMO vegetable seeds in Toronto, from student volunteers at Bendale B.T.I organic grocery store, The Big Carrot, and others.
The seeds are then dried, packaged and sent to the Silozi Seed Bank in Mongu and Kalabo, where they are distributed to locals for planting. In exchange, these local partners gather fallen tree seeds for the tree and fruit tree nursery that is a budding enterprise at the Silozi Seed Bank. These trees are then planted in communities by our local staff and through our voluntourism tree planting initiative. Surplus seedlings are also sold to Private Game Parks for a nominal fee to help support project activities and to reforest areas that sustain endangered Elephants.
Thanks to the generous donations of our partners and volunteers, we have, so far collected, dried, packaged and sent over 4.2 million seeds. By recycling seeds that would have otherwise been thrown out or composted, we are implementing a self-sufficient seed bank & tree nursery that provides relevant training for year round agriculture; improves the genetic diversity of local gardens, farms and kitchens and builds resilient healthy food systems and people.
We believe that providing villagers with hardier varieties of vegetable seeds, helps them earn more income and reduce food scarcity in their villages, lessening the need to poach animals and decreases the number of human elephant interactions and conflict. Further, the trees we grow and plant help to reforest communities, provide shade, are a source of food, fuel, fertilizer, and assist with controlling the erosion of the soil.
Please have a look at our web site www.sendseedstoafrica.org.
- Doors open at 6pm and the first band, Suzie’s Alibi will start at 8pm.
Buy tickets online at www.sendseedstoafrica.org or at the door!