Seed Programs International

If you would like to contact us at Seed Programs International please either write us, call us or email us using the information below.

Seed Programs International
PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815
(828) 337-8632
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Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)
Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON



Coming soon!





Vegetable Seed ResourceThese links and resources can be helpful for those considering the use of vegetable seed in international hunger relief and development work.

When and How to Respond with Vegetable Seed Programming

Vegetable Seed Supply and Selection in Humanitarian Response

Vegetable-growing can provide nutrition and income for those recovering from crisis - but gains are not automatic. What should be considered in designing vegetable seed-oriented relief programs? What seed species, characteristics, and sources are most appropriate? A set of two new practice briefs address these questions, give examples from the field, and highlight key resources for practitioners.

The above writings, authored by SPI's Peter Marks with input from Louise Sperling and Anne Turner (Catholic Relief Services) and Julie March (USAID/OFDA) join the set of tools, advice, research, resources found at SeedSystem.org, a site deployed to provide practical, hands-on guidance to help professionals design seed-related assistance. The vegetable seed briefs build on an existing series of ten Seed Aid for Seed Security practice briefs.

Vegetables and Nutrition
Brief discussion of the role of vegetables in general health, especially as related to grains and other staple foods. Vegetables are discussed as sources of calories, vitamins, minerals, and nutraceuticals.

Saving Vegetable Seeds: Factors to Consider
Written by SPI Vice President - General Manager Dave Bender, this article is an introduction to issues anybody should consider in designing a seed saving program.

Saving Vegetable Seeds (by Julian Hoyle)
More detail on specific vegetable requirements including a chart briefly covering each major vegetable's seed-saving process. Julian Hoyle is retired from the seed trade, has produced seed crops in over 25 countries on five continents, and has extensive experience training subsistence farmers in  seed saving.

Adaptation of Vegetable Crops to Climactic Regions
Discusses choosing appropriate vegetables for climate. Includes a chart showing ideal soil temperature, cold hardiness, spacing, germination time, and more.

Women's Empowerment Access to the most basic life necessities is out of reach for a staggering number of women around the world. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN reports that "if women in rural areas had the same access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets as men, agricultural production could be increased and the number of hungry people reduced by 100-150 million people." We join with women's gardening projects in the most impoverished countries worldwide including Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, The Gambia, Guatemala, and Liberia. In these countries, illiteracy is prominent, especially among women and girls.

Women farmers produce more than half the developing world's food—yet own less than 2% of land and have limited access to resources such as seeds, tools, and information. By providing top-quality vegetable seeds and locally-driven support, Seed Programs International facilitates a path to empowerment, income, and nutrition. By gaining access to these resources, women gain more power over their lives and can change the lives of their families and the entire community.

It may be hard to understand how something as small as a seed can have such a far-reaching impact, but our many years of experience working with farmers and women shows the truth of this. When women grow vegetables for food and livelihood, they can feed their families with good nutritious food. Excess vegetables can be sold at markets, providing money that was previously unavailable. That money can be used to send girls to school where they can learn to read. Once someone can read, a world of opportunity and hope is opened up.

“...teach a person to fish, and he’ll eat forever”

Man with SPI SeedsThis well-known saying illustrates a principle of livelihood—a person’s means to provide their own basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing, education, and dependent care. Sometimes livelihood simply means a job—a way to bring in cash to pay the bills. In the developing world, livelihood more often means self-employment, and most often means a piecemeal strategy that assembles a patchwork of resources to sustain a person or family.

Vegetable seeds give food and livelihood together. As any gardener knows, it can be hard to overcome diseases, pests, and weather to get to harvest time. However, once you do, it’s easy to end up with excess.

Even in remote, impoverished areas, we hear again and again that some vegetables are sold as soon as they are produced—even by those facing hunger and malnutrition. These sales pay for school fees, medicines, tools, and more seeds.

One shipment of SPI seeds can sow hundreds or thousands of gardens—and such large-scale efforts will give rise to even more micro-businesses. Some may start to save vegetable seeds for resale. Others will help with harvest, storage, or taking vegetables to market.

Hear It From Our Partners

  • GrowEastAfrica Women's Group

    Fate, GrowEastAfrica, Ethiopia

    Fate is a farmer who has forged a new livelihood from the resources and education she accessed through GrowEastAfrica, an SPI partner in Ethiopia. Building upon her training, she’s stepped into leadership with the Soyama Women's Association. She shares:

    "Just a few years ago, we were a community that was worried about what we would eat tomorrow and what the future looks like. Today, not only are we growing our own food, but we’re making plans for the future of our people and our community. We are creating markets for ourselves, we're inspiring and empowering each other, and we're saving money and contributing to our own development. Because of the support from Seed Programs International and Yohannes, we now have access to water where there was none. We’re building on what we’ve already accomplished to include neighboring villages and communities. Hope has come back to us, and we hope to grow our project so everyone — us, our communities, our villages and our country — can become fully self-reliant. We have reached this place because of the support of many people that we will never meet. It is all thanks you to you. Thank you for choosing to invest in our community and in our well-being."

Become a Global Gardener

Become a global gardener
Become a Global Gardener and grow vegetables in solidarity with gardeners around the world!

Donate Online

Donate online
Make an online donation to SPI with no commission costs. 

Donate by Mail

Donate by mail
Mail in a donation to us and help more families grow their own food.

Fundraise for us

Fundraise for us
Fundraise for us. Change communities. Enable brighter futures.

Donate Stock

Fundraise for us
Donate stocks/shares to SPI and help more families become self-sustainable.

Contact Us

Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815


Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON

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Seed Programs International (SPI)

Seed Programs InternationalSeed Programs International (SPI) is a non-profit, tax exempt, non-governmental humanitarian organization.

We work thorough other humanitarian organizations, church groups, service clubs and individual donors, to provide quality seed to impoverished communities in developing countries enabling them to grow some of their own food. In addition to seed, SPI provides critical seed expertise and experience operating seed based self help programs.”

SPI is operated by individuals with over 50 years seed industry experience plus over 20 years experience in vegetable research and production. We also have 15 years experience operating programs that have successfully shipped seed to over 70 countries on five continents. SPI has shipped enough seed to plant over 1,000,000 vegetable gardens, providing more than 20 kinds of vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals often missing in people’s diets.