Our Global Reach: Where the action takes us

Supporting Seed Saving Globally

Seedsavers principals and funders Jude and Michel Fanton know the value of peasant and tribal contribution to biodiversity and local culture: each year they embark on Seed Solidarity Tours to set up community seed exchanges and networks, give keynotes, visit existing seed projects and generally lend a hand, partnering seed organisations to gain more national and local public attention. They often return to these countries to follow up on the progress of the various organisations where they always find new ideas and inspiration to share with other local networks.

Here are those countries, nations and tribal areas.

Growing List

Afghanistan Herat2002 and 2003 with Japanese NGO Nicco (Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development) Greening Afghanistan with Michel and Jude training in Permaculture Design and seed saving at the Faculty of Agriculture in Herat. Provided funding and formation of a university seed bank and seed network, visit to university farm and consulting on design. Consultation for War Child on improving their women training for small herbal crops for home cosmetic production and pesticide free vegetable production in their women run Herat city farm. 2003: as a Slow Food jury, seed savers successful nominated "the 70 traditional grapes of Herat" to Slow Food Presidium in Bra, Italy and the snow balling effect to impoverished war ridden grape growers. Meetings with the only women association in Herat sponsored by controversial figure and governor of Herat province Ismail Khan. Re-desinging a traditional water way knows as Karez demolish during the soviet area.
Albania Skoder2013 – filming, recording practices that preserve traditional varieties of food plants in Skoder.
American Samoa Pago Pago2008 - at four-yearly Pacific Festival of Arts, screening and extensive distribution of "Our Seeds" to heads of government, ministers and officials from thirty Pacific countries, networking, TV interview, filming.
Austria Vienna2010 - presentation and film screening at University of Boden Kultur, radio interview, filming.
Bosnia Jajace2010 & 2013 - filming, recording practices that preserve traditional varieties of food plants.
Cambodia Pursat1998 - for Quaker Foundation, training and encouraging traditional knowledge to surface for Dept of Women's Affairs and Veteran specifically in seed saving and teaching seed saving in Pursat province near Lake Tonle Sap. The country has been gutted loosing culture and citizen in a Khmer Rouge genocide. 1999 - hosted a Cambodian intern from Dept of Women's Affairs at Seed Centre for training in teaching seed saving for five weeks.
Canada Vancouver1996 - in Vancouver meetings with Ram's Horn the director Brewster Kneen, author of several books and, with Cathleen Kneen, publisher of a monthly journal of food systems analysis and alternative seed companies with Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seed Sanctuary on Vancouver Island.
China Kunming2008 - in Guanzhou and Yunnan, filming, meeting with tribal Tibetans and a cultural NGO, meeting with environmental NGO in Kunming
ColombiaPasto2003 - training course for fifth year graduates of environmental studies at Pasto University, meeting with bishops to hold training sessions with tribals, and other tribal leaders on seed action plan, meeting on formation of seed networks. Fist permaculture seed sown.
Croatia Zadar2010 - filming, recording practices that preserve traditional varieties of food plants.
Cuba Havana-Veja1996 - for Australian Conservation Foundation with the Fidel Casto protege the Fundacion de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (FNH) Seed programme by the Department of Urban Agriculture, Havana, for improving quality and flow of quality viable seed suitable to home gardeners in thirteen municipalities in Havana, and teaching the first two weeks Permaculture Design course in Cuba
East TimorOecussi Enclave2002 - for Caritas, catholic aid organisation in Dili, deliver training on adapted seed production for rural and urban poors after the war, to training staff at head office in Dili the capital and in Oecussi Province on prospection and collection of locally adapted seeds of cereals farmers varieties, local native pulses and local vegetables adapted to rain fed home agriculture.
Ecuador Tumbago2003 - placing five interns to local NGO on Ecuardian coast and highlands, helping establish national seed network, Red de Semillas, across Andes altitudes. Michel conducted training on best seed practices in the Andes and their bicultural relevance, meetings and talks on global GMO crop global situation and intellectual property rights issues organised by the minister of agriculture in Quito.
Fiji Koro island1996 - presentation at an inter pacific conference on seed supply to the Pacific island nations; Permaculture workshops to Kana Project, Health and Nutrition Dept toward the KANA Boarding Schools Meals Project and lobbying NGOs on seed supplies in the Pacific and the tropical reality of collecting and producing locally adapted seeds for the Foundation of the People of the South Pacific
France Toulouse2001, 2005 & 2006 - meetings on publishing The Seed Savers' Handbook in French, meeting with french ex-presidential candidate Jose Bove. Footage for film. 2010 - filming; presentation of "Our Seeds" documentary at Association of Veterans of Nuclear Tests 2012, further meetings with publishers and filming clips for Youtube.com/seedsavers channel 2013 - recording traditional practices that preserve traditional varieties. Meeting with botanic parks in Menton French Riviera.
Greece Greece 2013 – attending seed saving organisation, Peliti's, annual free seed exchange and event in Paranesti with 5000 gardeners attending in Drama; filming and recording practices that preserve traditional varieties of food plants in Timifristos Mountains, central Greece. Series of meetings with Vandana Shiva.
India 1997, 19991997 & 1999 - presenting at international courses on seed issues on the invitation of Dr Vandana Shiva to extend grain seed consciousness present in Indian sub continent to vegetable diversity focus. Networking with much of the 300 organisation present.
India Navdanya 105, Rajpur Road, Dehradun, Uttarakhand20062006 - filming in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu - with GREEN Foundation and in Kerala.
India, Rajasthan 20092009 - attending Ethical Feast meeting with Udaipur, Rajashstan NGOs and filming in rural arid Rajasthan.
India , Karnataka, Tami NaduBangalore2001Meetings, presentations, filming, training with GREEN Foundation on the invitation of director Dr Vanaja Ramprasad; instrumental in establishing 60 community seed banks in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Indonesia Taman Petanu Eco Neighborhood Br. Sumampan, Desa Kemenuh, Kecamatan Sukawati Gianyar20052005 Meetings with NGO IDEP on local seed production and distribution.
Indonesia Mataram20122012 – On-the-ground advice on the crop biodiversity and community livelihood aspects of a proposed Permaculture training centre in Lombok; and an eco-village in Bali.
IranMashaad2002/2003Meetings and consultations with a NGO working with Afghan refugees escaping Taliban rule
Italy Rome, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 001531996 in preparation for the International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources in Leipzig with Vandana Shiva, Cary Fowler, Pat Mooney; 2006 - meetings on first publishing The Seed Savers' Handbook in Italian; filming, presentations in Umbria, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna; Media conference.
Italy Sienna20061996 - Part of a NGO delegation of NGO at the FAO in Rome Italy,
Italy Cesena20132013 - promotion of second edition of The Seed Savers' Handbook in Italian in Cesena, Emilia Romagna with Macro Gruppo; giving workshop on seed saving and a media conference.
JapanTsukuba, Ibaraki 30520022000 & 2002 - recording traditional practices that preserve local varieties; meetings on publishing Handbook in Japanese; Keynote with Japanese Organic Agriculture officials meeting on decentralised farmer-based seed network as a complement to frozen seed stocks. 2009 - filming; keynote and screening "Our Seeds" for Japan Biodiversity Network. Visits to seedsavers interns projects in Ibaraki and Nara, meeting with elder women association preserving their seeds in conjunction with a museum. Introduction and meetings with guru-status natural farmers and trainers: introduction to Kawaguchi-san and his Fukuoka no dig methods by Keibo Oiwa cultural anthropologist, prolific japanese author public speaker, International Studies lecturer at Meiji Gakuin University. Furono-san meetings near Hiroshima, for his one duck revolution method of growing rice without fertiliser or pesticides for local traditional rice. 2013 & 2014 - recording traditional practices that preserve traditional varieties. Introduction to numerous farming communities.
JapanMie, Tokyo, 2000
JapanSakurai,2002Kawaguchi san meeting with Keibo Oiwa
Kenya Thika Town19991999 - for SACDEP (Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme) Kenya and Pelum Association Zimbabwe presentations at a Seed Security Workshop on training trainers and develop a seed curriculum with a seed security manual for the establishing community seed saving projects in ten countries of eastern and southern Africa. Experience farming life with arid land subsistence farmers.
MalaysiaKinabalu Park19981998 - Trained at Applied Ethnobotany Course with PIants Initiative of UNESCO with Kew Gardens, participants from seven SE Asian countries at Kinabalu National Park, Sabah about agricultural biodiversity conservation by indigenous peasant farmers. 2010 - filming, and presenting our "Our Seeds" prior to screening for KadazanDusun tribals leaders and communities at Kinabalu National Park Biodiversiti Ekspo, in Sabah, in December. Meeting with expert venerable Dr David Lamb native food diversity (durian, gingers, mangoes) creator of a number of horticultural parks in Malaysia. 2012 - advised on the establishment and assisted in the launch of a Local Seed Network in Kuala Lumpur; appeared on national television NTV7; taught on a Permaculture course; presentations and screening "Our Seeds".
MalaysiaKinabalu Park2010
MalaysiaBatu Arang, Selangor
NepalGumi1999 - presentations and keynotes with Permaculture Jajarkot and participants from Katmandhu and India at a meeting on local seed conserving and GMOs threat in Nepal. Meeting with the five original Chipkos tree huggers who walked one week across lower Himalayas. They starting their anti GMO campaign with their inspiring "save the seeds" campaign.
New Caledonia Noumea2013 – Speaking at Oceania 21, a meeting of leaders of Pacific countries as part of the Agenda 21 process, in Noumea. Seedsavers inshrined the community crop conservation on the final text of resolution.
New ZealandTurangi2004 - presentations at national sustainable agriculture show the Eco Show, meeting with new seed saving groups in NZ; Informal. 2012 - Keynote presentation at international Permaculture conference; workshops;
Palau, MicronesiaKoror island1994 - Jude taught two-week Permaculture Design course for the Palau Community Action Agency for the Family Food Production and Nutrition Project, to peasant-fishermen, govt and NGO/GO officials and others civil societies; *Jude was able to give a brief on our seed work to the Prime Minister of the new country Kuniwo Nakamura, from 1993 until 2001.. A Yap Island educational group in Federated States of Melanesia has joined in the seed network.
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea 2002 - talks with incoming government ministers in newly formed Bougainville nation island, on agriculture and food-plant conservation networks in other parts of Melanesia; visited innovative projects in newly formed Bougainville island nation. Special reference to UNDP introduction of 11 millions hybrid cacao and coconut seedlings with its pesticide package just after largest miner Rio Tinto was pushed out by rebels. 2006 - Training Community Based Health Care staff, taking footage of 7000 years old Huli tribal farming systems in southern highlands Papua for Our Seed documentary. 2009 - screening and distribution of "Our Seeds"documentary, and a series of meetings and travels with Minister of Community Affairs Dame Carol Kidu, presentation and screening to her ministerial staff; TV interviews to gov and private network, negotiating television rights for "our seed" documentary with Tok pisin english soundtrack, film screening in the capital Port Moresby's theatre.
Philippines Negros, Cebu,20012001 - Keynotes in Cebu and Negros Islands at the National Congress on Local Seed Systems for Genetic Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture with 300 NGO and commercial seed multipliers participants.
PortugalCalçada Martim de Freitas, 3000-393 Coimbra20112011 - Seed Savers Tour from 3rd to 30th Nov screening "Our Seeds" four times, giving workshops in Lisbon and Coimbra one of the ealiest botanical gardens in Europe, and giving keynote in Sao Bras do Alportel, Lisbon, Coimbra and Campo do Geres, i.e., from south to north of the country. Participation in Free the Seed events.
Samoa Apia1996 - With the London's Commonwealth Foundation presenting the seed savers concept at the four-yearly Pacific Festival of Arts in Apia to island nations decision makers and heads of island nation states, held talks with Minister of Education to include conservation of local crops in science curricula, presentations at University of South Pacific, Apia Campus, Ministry of agriculture, FAO representatives office and a number of Samoan NGO and civil societies including the Siosiomanga Society.
Senegal Fatik2013 – Consultations and visits to rural NGOs and seed saving events with Concern Universal; giving on-the-ground advice on how to establish community seed banks and exchanges; filming, recording practices that preserve traditional varieties of food plants. meeting with a range of government bodies on seed issues.
Serbia Serbia 2010 - presentation at Beograd Chamber of Commerce to a wide range of people including deputy heads of Ministry of Trade and of Education, heads of Serbia Organica and Serbian Biodynamic Association, Australian deputy ambassador, seed breeders and companies, journalists, academics and govt officials; filming, preliminary talks with NGOs on translation of our books in Serbia.
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands 1995 & 2000 - Seedsavers began by joining in strategic meetings with Tony Jansen to establish the Planting Material Network, and produce quality seed at the village level within the humid tropics. Imported vegetable varieties failed in the past to deliver their promises so the scouting for and multiplication of locally adapted varieties suitable to the cashless tribal peasant society became the focus and the drive within the newly formed NGO: The Kastom Garden Association apart of APACE. 1995: Visit to APACE Appropriate Technology, Community and Environment to start what was called Community Seed bank Training courses and the formation of a two years project: Integrated Kastom Agriculture Resources that morphed into the Kastom Garden Association with now with 70 local inter -islands staff. 2003 - Seedsavers initiated, co-organised, part-funded and attended an international seed conference in Choiseul island on "Preserving Biodiversity of Food Crops"; presentations at the University of South Pacific, Honiara. 2004: Meeting with the Farmer First Network, visit an isolated banana collection that seedsavers part-funded of 113 varieties in Makira Mavivovo Rural Training Centre. Talks on national radio and at the University of the South Pacific. Seed workshop leading at a local NGO. 2005 - training, attending and helping run a brave national conference in isolated island group of Choiseul, with the Melanesia Farmer First Network. Hundreds attended this unique event in the Solomon Islands. 2007 - training for Planting Material Network, filming for "Our Seeds". 2008 - training at Kastom Gaden Association; screening and distribution of "Our Seeds" the documentary. The filmed was screened 13 times in one month on One News Television because of its popularity.
South Africa South Africa 1992 Bill Mollison invited Jude Fanton to lead a two two-week Permaculture Design courses. it included the training of one Permaculture teacher. Participant at the time of the referendum represented numerous ethnic and political groups, public servants, and civil societies. Jude was interviewed on national radio, newspapers and magazines in Southern Africa. The course in Camphilll and Khayletsia 1 million strong township. The south african have now set up their own seed networks. A network of 10 south african nations NGOs have enacted new seed saving organisations.
Spain Spain 2006 - filming with seed saving NGO near Barcelona. 2011 - workshops at Marbella Arboretum, Andalucia
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 2007 - Meetings, informal training with NGO Gami Seva Sevana's seed banker, GSSS is a national sustainable agriculture NGO with seed production units.
Taiwan Taiwan 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008 - presentations fo r several national environment NGOs, lecture at the national university, filming both Chinese and aboriginal farming systems, interview for national television, translation of "Our Seeds" script into Mandarin for subtitles.
The Gambia Bunjul20132013 – Consultations and visits to rural NGOs and seed saving events with NGO Concern Universal; giving on-the-ground advice on how to establish community seed banks and exchanges; filming, recording practices that preserve traditional varieties of food plants. Giving talks at University and schools.
Tonga Eua, Va'vau, Ha'apai, Nukualofa,19961996 - The Save Our Seeds Projects initiated in Tongatapu, Eua, Va'vau and Ha'apai, with The Commonwealth Foundation in London guidelines, training NGO staff of the Tonga Trust on local seed production for the commerce to reduce use of pesticides with collaboration to high school curriculum with numerous visits to schools and colleges; lobbying the Prime Minister George 'Alipate Tupou or Baron Vaea the 12th Prime Minister of Tonga also Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Finance, and dame de charite Princess Salote Mafileʻo Pilolevu Tuita. Presentation to Agriculture Department trainers, The Peace Corp staff, Village Women in Development, Japanese volunteers from Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers http://www.jica.go.jp
Turkey Canakale2013 – filming, recording practices that preserve traditional varieties of food plants.
United Kingdom:Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HY20072007: Meetings with Corgi publishers on adaptation of the Seed Savers Handbook written originally for Australian, for UK condition with science writer, biologist Radio 4 UK broadcaster and Dr Jeremy Cherfas. Teaching Permaculture Design Course course near Bristol. Meetings at the Commonwealth Foundation on the Pall Mall, London. Lobbied OXFAM head of programmes on community seed production, collaboration with ITDG Patrick Malveny, 2010 - presentations; strategic meetings with NGOs in London *such as Gaia Trust, in Cornwall meeting *with seed banker for the Eden Project biosphere, teaching at the Schumaker College, and meeting in Devon with originators of Transition Movement; filming; and screenings of "Our Seeds".
United Kingdom:Bodelva, Cornwall PL24 2SG2010
United Kingdom:The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EL2010
USA Decorah Iowa, New York UN, Washington city, 19961996 - meeting with Seed Savers' Exchange directors Diane and Kent Whealy and nature photographer David Cavagnaro in Iowa; visit SEED at the UNDP in New York; meet with pioneers World Urban Agriculture Association in Washington. 1997 - presentation at ECHO agricultural missionary Conference in Florida Keynote on the crucial place of local seed production and decentralised seed saving.
USA 17391 Durrance Road, North Fort Myers, FL 339171997missonary conference,
Vanuatu Efate, espiritu santo, Vila, Malekula, Tanna,20082008 - distribution of "Our Seeds" DVDs, TV and radio interviews. 2009 - filming one hour documentary "Our Roots" for French Centre for International Research in Agriculture and Development with Agriculture Dept in Espiritu Santo, Malekula and Efate.
Vanuatu Tannafilming for Our Roots and screening Our Seeds
North Vietmamhanoi, Phu Tho,2008 - filming, meeting with Green Hmong tribal leaders on maize cash crops and forest deforestation.
Zimbabwe Harare19981998 - Presentations at strategic planning meeting on establishing seed saving projects in ten countries of Southern Africa 1999 - documenting seed saving on farms.


In Summary

Worked on, documented and researched seed saving in forty-four countries

Trained seventy-two interns from seventeen of those countries

Helped twenty-seven interns to work on seed saving projects in eleven of those countries

Channelled small grants to thirty-five food biodiversity projects around the globe.

Filmed in thirty-two countries and produced a one hour documentary, “Our Seeds”, for the people of Melanesia

Donated 1000 copies of “Our Seeds” to people and projects around the world

Filmed “Our Roots” in Vanuatu, on how to re-diversify root crops through reproduction with seeds.

Made clips and uploaded them to Seedsavers Youtube Channel as a filmic blog on food production and distribution in eleven countries.


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