In the last week of November at Sintchão Adulai, DIVUTEC’s headquarters in the Eastern Region of Guinea-Bissau, took place the 2nd training promoted by the Decentralised Programme for Food Security and Nutrition PDSAII, under the coordination of the Guinea-Bissau Association of Study and Dissemination of Appropriate Technology – DIVUTEC, partner institution in the implementation of the second phase of the PDSA.
Cereal Bank Management was the theme of the training that took place during four days and that had as trainees (animators and agronomists) participants of the Regional Integration Programme, PIR and civil society organisations partners to and beneficiaries of the PDSA.
Lizandra Gomes, animator of Association Friends of Guinea-Bissau, AGB, explained the advantages of this training for Associations saying that “it contributes to decreasing poverty in farms and helps them maintain a good seed quality, preserved in Cereal Banks. Another advantage is the fact that they do not have to buy seeds for each crop”.
“After this training we have the capacity to raise awareness amongst the community on the importance of Cereal Banks, especially seed preservation for a village or community” said the animator of Association AGB. Association AGB works on the Cacheu Region.
There are still Associations that do not have Cereal Banks in their communities and the Association for Sustainable Development, ADS, is one of them. According to Pipi Gomes from ADS, villages without Cereal Banks face difficulties in quickly and effectively gathering work materials, waste lots of time looking for seeds and work materials and can even face the risk of not finding good quality seeds for farming. While communities that have Cereal Banks have all at hand without additional effort and money.
Uri Sidibé, from NGO Guiarroz, The Rice of Guinea-Bissau, with headquarters in Comtuboel, and with a vast experience in Cereal Banks stated that “Cereal Banks are very important for a community because in that space they can store their seeds and farming materials. In addition they can ask for seed credit when they do not have money to buy them. Later on they can repay according to the terms agreed upon with space managers”.
Uri considers that the main added value of the Cereal Banks is the quality assurance of seeds persevered in this space, in contrast to buying seeds in the free market which could lead to deception, buying expired seeds that do not germinate. At Cereal Banks there is constant seed renewal.
With the presence of Cereal Banks in communities there is a direct contribution for the country’s Food Security, because in crisis moments Associations can lend seeds to people that can repay after their next crops. This way they avoid hunger in their communities.
To conclude the animator from GUIARROZ said that a well organised community, with an association or legalised group, has conditions to create cereal banks that help them fight food insecurity.