Women managing organic seed banks: improving access to information and preserving diversity of local environment

Country: Ivory Coast

Organization: Grainothèque

Representative: Daniel Oulai

Email: daniloking2013@gmail.com


Description of the project: Grainothèque, set up in the Western part of Ivory Coast, works on preserving and exploring the genetic diversity and reproduction of local feeding plants through organic seed banks as well as improving access to information. Tools and technical notes explaining production techniques, pollination, botanical classification, isolation, harvesting, seed stocking and feeding properties are made available to women. An android application provides technical help to producers in case of plant diseases.

Climate impact: Grainothèque developed a production, distribution and sales service for organic inputs (biofertilizers and biopesticides) to reduce the impact of chemical fertilizers on soil, water and the environment. The distribution of free seeds contributes to protecting botanical species that have become scarce and to restoring biodiversity. In addition, reproduction protocols document seeds, improving their resilience to diseases and drought.

Gender impact: This project gives women a new role in their community. They contribute to safeguarding the genetic diversity of feeding plants and to food security. Women’s leadership of the seed sector, training on permaculture techniques, polyculture and jobs related to food allow them to be included in decisionmaking processes. A mobile app producing gender-disaggregated data on agriculture highlights women’s competencies.

Scalability / replicability: Grainothèque publicizes a farming agricultural model based on eco-friendly practices, solidarity and supports the local economic system. Over 1,000 women have already been trained and received over 500 kg of seeds. Furthermore, the innovative mobile app “yiri drôtô” makes it possible to identify pests and diseases affecting plants and contributes to democratizing access to information, putting technology in the service of a durable and sustainable agriculture.