Project profile — USC Canada Seeds of Survival 2015-2020


SeedChange (CA-CRA_ACR-3119276129)
2015-05-26 - 2020-08-31
Global Affairs Canada
KFM Intl Dev Partnerships & Operations

Country / region 

• Mali (21.64%)
• Guatemala (11.32%)
• Ethiopia (17.46%)
• Nicaragua (14.67%)
• Burkina Faso (16.64%)
• Honduras (18.27%)


• Agricultural policy and administrative management:
Agricultural policy and administrative management (31110) (15.00%)
Agricultural development (31120) (5.00%)
Food crop production (31161) (75.00%)
Agricultural extension (31166) (5.00%)

Policy marker 

• Gender equality (significant objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (principal objective)
• Participatory development and good governance (significant objective)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (significant objective)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (not targeted)
• Youth Issues (significant objective)
• Indigenous Issues (significant objective)
• Disability (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (not targeted)


This project aims to increase seed, food and economic security for 26,046 small-scale farm households, enhancing the availability of diverse quality food for 153,601 women, men and youth. Over 80% of food consumed in developing countries is produced by small-scale farmers. These producers often cultivate poor land, with under-supported skills and inputs, using crop seed material and practices that are detrimental to environmental sustainability and inappropriate to their local area. This affects agricultural productivity, climate resiliency and livelihoods. The regions targeted by the project are the Dry Corridor in Central America, as well as Burkina Faso (Soum, Boulkiemde, Bazega and Boulgou Provinces), Mali (the Bamako, Douentza and Mopti regions) and Ethiopia (Amhara and Oromia regions). USC Canada’s country partners in the implementation of this initiative are: -Guatemala: Association of Organisations of the Cuchamatanes (ASOCUCH) -Nicaragua: Federation of Cooperatives for Development (FECODESA) -Honduras: Foundation for Participatory Research with Honduran Farmers (FIPAH) -Burkina Faso: USC Mali and Association pour la protection de la nature au Sahel (APN Sahel) -Mali: Conseil Accompagnement des initiatives à la Base de Demeso (CAB Demeso) -Ethiopia: Ethio-Organic Seed Action (EOSA) Project activities include: (1) training farmers (women, men, and youth), to select and utilize improved local open-pollinated seed varieties and to carry out participatory research on their own farms with technical assistance; 2) establish their own community seed banks and field gene banks to preserve the biodiversity of local crop material and build community seed self-sufficiency as a basis for food security; (3) providing information materials and agricultural extension support to small-scale farm households on agricultural best practices, including water and soil management, agroforestry and also supporting women and youth in leading their own sustainable small enterprises focused on high-value agricultural products; 4) seed marketing support; and (5) supporting government agencies, civil society organizations, and research institutions in the six developing countries by promoting the adoption of agro-ecological, participatory research and seed multiplication practices nationally, as well as regionally.

Expected results 

The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) increased availability of nutrient-rich food in quantity and quality for 153,601 women, men and youth; (2) sustainable economic growth for rural women, men and youth through creation of 154 women and youth-led sustainable small enterprises; (3) Seeds of Survival practices and policies (such as participatory research to develop new crop seed varieties adapted to different agro-ecological zones and that are more productive and nutritious; community seed banks and agro-ecological production) are scaled up through adoption by 418 farming communities, and 75 government agencies, civil society organizations, and research institutions in six developing countries; and 4) strengthened linkages with relevant government ministries and agencies involved in crop variety registration and official release, seed certification, etc.

Results achieved 

Results achieved as of May 2019 include: (1) increasing availability of nutrient-rich food in quantity and quality for 123,628 direct beneficiaries in 432 communities; (2) overall annual household access to adequate food supplies increased by 8.1% on average from the baseline. 20% more households grow fruits and 28% grow more vegetables, and participants are growing 31% more fruit varieties and 42% more vegetable varieties than before the project. These increases have contributed to making nutritionally diverse food supplies available to poor households on a more consistent basis; (3) the project is working with 187 women’s groups to strengthen women’s participation in economic decision-making. Women made up 50% of the leadership positions in the 187 collective enterprises supported in 2017-2018, and are increasingly participating in traditionally male-dominated areas, such as seed production and community seed bank management. More than 4,400 women farmers and 1,600 youth farmers have received support in accessing community land, and over 5,300 women and nearly 2,500 youth received agricultural inputs like seeds, microloans, and production supplies including tools, biofertilizers, herbicides and pest repellents. These results are helping to demonstrate that promoting women and youth’s active participation in agro ecological practices and market-related initiatives contributes to sustainable economic growth for rural women, men and youth; (4) the Seeds of Survival (SoS) project has collaborated with more than 220 organizations, government departments, and research institutes in scaling-up SoS practices; and (5) partners have conducted 26 seed security assessments, supported 64 community seed banks, and more than 5,600 participants have received training in participatory varietal selection and plant breeding, resulting in strengthened smallholder farmer capacity to adapt to identified climate change risks.

Budget and spending 

Original budget $0
Planned disbursement $0
Country percentages by sector
Type of finance Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Collaboration type Bilateral
Type of aid Project-type interventions
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