This paper describes an innovative informal institutional arrangements adapted for making rural communities seed secure in food-feed crops in Karivemula village in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Small and resource poor farmers are often at a disadvantageous position in absorbing the agricultural technology related to genetic enhancement of productive potential of agricultural crops in general and food-feed crops in particular. But, these crops has vital stake in crop-livestock interaction at smallholder level. Village seed banks (VSB) established as part of Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihood Program (APRLP) a DFID funded project implemented by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) were proved as an alternative sustainable informal seed system to make farmers seed secure. The two models village seed bank (VSB) and individual farmer as seed bank were adapted in the project villages. Here a shift was observed in local seed systems among small and resource poor farmers due to availability and access to improved varieties, on time seed availability and at affordable cost. The area under improved groundnut crop varieties has increased from 1.2 ha in 2002 to 142 ha in 2005 and is expected to cover 400 ha in 2006 rainy season. Increase in fodder quantity by 15%, and income by Indian Rupees (INR) 12,500/ha over local varieties was recorded in the year 2003. In addition, village women self help groups (SHGs) who maintain VSB earned a net profit of INR 21,330 in the 2004 rainy season by selling seed. The benefits would be much higher if the amount saved by farmers with low price, timely and quality seed availability and benefit from livestock due to enhanced fodder availability and improved crop yields is taken into account. Impressed by the success, the government of Andhra Pradesh has announced to scale-up and scale-out the “village seed bank” model developed by ICRISAT to 322 villages in the state.
Gurava Reddy, K.; Thirupati Reddi, G.; Wani, S.P.; Bezkorowajnyi, P.; Reddy, R. Enhanced fodder production with innovating sustainable informal seed systems for food-feed crops: a case study of village seed banks, India. (2006) 14 pp.