Established seed companies do not typically market their projects in the hill regions of Nepal, so HMRP established community-based seed production (CBSP) groups in order to promote seed self-sufficiency and create new livelihoods for communities. Starting in 2000 with just seven groups, the CBSP group initiative grew to 223 groups producing 1,460 tons of seed by 2014. CBSP groups have become a successful model in Nepal, contributing to the increased adoption of improved maize varieties and technologies and helping to ensure the availability of seed in remote areas, on time and at lower prices.
CBSP groups have not only improved seed self-sufficiency in the region, but gender equality as well. Of those involved in CBSP groups, 57 percent of participants are women and 64 percent come from disadvantaged groups, in keeping with the GESI approach. Women CBSP members have reported greater knowledge of and access to improved maize seeds and extension services, as well as increased yield and income, leading to greater empowerment within their families and communities.
“Gaining income doubled by selling maize seed and membership in the cooperative, women farmers are not only able to send their children to school but also feel more safe and sound in their family and society” said Nanu Maya Ghatani, Chairperson of Jana Chetana Women’s CBSP Cooperative.