This page presents one of the seed programs implemented by Association Kokopelli. The Kokopelli Seed Foundation hopes to duplicate this type of seed bank in other countries of the Third World where such centers can easily be managed by NGOs and the local population.
Isolation tunnels for production of pure seeds
During the summer of 2000 Association Kokopelli created Annadana, a new branch in Southern India at Auroville near to Pondicherrry. For years we had wanted to create a firm base in Asia. In Spring 2000, on the way back from a seed project in Sri Lanka, Dominique made a detour via Auroville where he met up with several people of the town who wished, together with Association Kokopelli, to develop a project for genetic resources: Stephan and Poonam who were involved in the creation of a seed bank; Bernard and Deepika who had co-created the organic agriculture movement " Arise ", in India; Isha who was working on the development of organic agriculture in Auroville, etc. From these meetings was born " Annadana " (meaning in Sanskrit the gift of food) an organisation for the production and exchange of seeds for the benefit of India and Southern Asia.
Very quickly we put in place gardens for the production of seed allowing us to study the ability of hundreds of different vegetable varieties to adapt to the climatic conditions of Southern India, and to produce seed locally for distribution in partnership with various NGOs in partnership with Annadana.
For a year and a half, this operation has been carried out thanks to the support of our members: one third of the money of the membership subscriptions has been devoted to this project.
Annadanas Seed bank in south India
In March 2002 we organized a workshop (funded by one of our members who lives on the island of Ibiza) lasting three days on the theme of creating a living seed bank bringing together some sixty delegates from NGOs from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
As a result of this workshop, Annadana put in place a structure of cooperation with various NGOs in India who are heavily committed in the development of sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. Courses of instruction are being set up in the gardens of Annadana and in the various regions of India covered by the NGOs.
Thanks to a grant from the "Fondation pour une Terre Humaine", we built a Centre for Genetic Resources on the site of the future Botanical Garden of Auroville.
Essentially this center consists of a small building for the processing, storage and packaging of the seeds surrounded by several seed production gardens, the only technology required being the provision of small net covered tunnels to prevent natural hybridisation between varieties. This center is powered by solar energy.
Furthermore, Annadana welcomes a lot of students who want to be trained in seed production in tropical conditions. In 2002, Annadana also gave a 6 month-course (attended by 20 students) on tropical agro-ecology concentrating on the production of seed and the protection of genetic resources. Apart from the genetic resources, numerous other subjects were taught and put into practice during the course: reforestation, water conservation, agriculture in drought conditions, sustainable agricultural practices (biodynamics, compost production, efficient use of micro organisms) and use of medicinal plants.