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Seed Programs International

BeetsPlease donate today. Each $500 covers the cost of sourcing, testing, packaging, and shipping enough seed for families in need to grow five tons of food. At the same time, we are growing self-sufficiency. Seed recipients work hard to achieve productive gardens, save seed where possible, and transform themselves from aid recipients to producers and providers for their families.

We gratefully accept donations of any amount by mail to:

Seed Programs International
PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815

For online gifts, use our secure donation site.

SPI is a 501c3 non-profit organization since 1999. All donations are deductible to the full extent allowable by laws governing your tax return. Thank you!

Seed Programs International strives to be your go-to source for affordable, top-quality vegetable seed, but we can do a whole lot more. SPI’s additional services include seed assessment, training coordination, and/or local seed sourcing support.

EggplantSeed assessment is the process of determining whether vegetable seed shortage is in fact an issue in your service region. See seedsystem.org for in-depth information on this science and practice. You may know that vegetable gardens are sparse and could help, but you may not know why. There can be one of three types of reasons:

  1. Seed Availability: Vegetable seed of reasonable quality is simply not available in the region at all, either chronically or due to crisis. SPI was built to help provide seed in this scenario.
  2. Seed Access: Vegetable seed is available but people cannot afford to buy it or to transport themselves to the locations where seed is sold.
  3. Seed Knowledge and Utilization: Vegetable seed is available and accessible, but people do not know why they should be motivated to buy it. Perhaps there are cultural misunderstandings about basic human nutrition, or gender inequality prevents full use of household resources. Or, perhaps people simply do not know how to cook, preserve, sell, and/or grow vegetable crops.

Which scenario is most true for you, or is there a need for all three? What should be prioritized? If you are not sure, SPI may be contracted to help answer this question and design a program that is the right fit for your region’s needs.

Training Coordination is SPI’s approach to delivering knowledge – we are not designed, nor do we think it is effective and efficient, to send trainers thousands of miles by air to deliver practical content. We believe that local leaders are best-positioned to deliver basic information on vegetable growing and utilization strategies.

Worldwide, Seed Programs International has seen partners successfully employ local agronomists and community-based extension agents to foster vegetable growing. We love to make referrals from old partners to new so that knowledge gained from working with our seeds is passed along.

If your program has a unique training need or idea, let us know! We can work together to develop and fund a train-the-trainer program specific to your region and needs.

Local Sourcing is increasingly important to relief and development work, both for its efficiency and for its support of local economies. Supply chains for the broad range of vegetable seed are narrow, leading to high prices and dubious quality in many of the more remote areas of the world, but (depending on your seed budget) effective local sourcing may still be quite possible.

SPI believes that importing vegetable seed can be a smart first programmatic step in many situations. Making seed available that you know is top quality, along with any needed support in its use, can help get people “hooked” on gardening and establish a critical mass of growers and customers for familiar – or even unfamiliar – vegetables. Once people are hooked, we share your interest in looking for an exit strategy. Sometimes, seed saving can help. Other times, connecting with local supplies is the solution.

Seed Programs International can use our deep connections within the global vegetable seed trade to your benefit. We’ll track down equivalent-quality vegetable seed in your country or region, negotiate variety selection and pricing, and help you determine how to integrate this source into local supply chains.

Thank you to these companies that provide sponsorship or seeds to support our work. They are generously sharing resources to fight hunger around the world, educating their customers, and acting as models of good corporate citizenship.


Special Sponsorship Arrangements

 

Corteva Agriscience™Corteva Agriscience™ works with producers and consumers to create an agricultural ecosystem that naturally supports people, progress, and the planet. Corteva supports SPI's programs in East Africa in partnership with the GlobalGiving Foundation.

 

MDRT FoundationMDRT Foundation is the charitable organization of Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). They believe that supporting sustainable charitable programs that empower people is the solution to many of the world's problems. MDRT Foundation supports SPI's youth and school garden programs.

 

sweet blossom giftsSweet Blossom Gifts is a family-owned business offering customized jewelry made by independent artisans. A portion of every Sweet Blossom Gifts purchase is donated to SPI to provide seeds via programs that support and empower women.

 

germains seed technologyGermains Seed Technology conducts research and development for the seed industry and recognizes their responsibility to contribute positively to the local and global communities. Seed Programs International is one of the global organizations supported by Germains.

 

Sakata Seed AmericaSakata Seed America develops new seed varieties ideally suited to a wide range of environments. They partner with strong community-minded organizations like SPI who contribute to the betterment of both life and culture.

 

LindeLinde contributes to SPI in honor of Earth Week as a charitable match to the hundreds of volunteer hours given to local communities by the company's employees.

 

  Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to SPI if you use this link to access the Amazon Smile program, and then just shop as you normally would.

 

Rain InternationalRain International is a world leader in seed-based nutrition. A company formed by a team of doctors and scientists to create seed-based wellness products, Rain aims to look at seeds–the foundation of life–as a driver in holistic health and nutrition formulations. A portion of all revenue goes to their non-profit foundation, Seeds for Change, to support good work around the world, including SPI.

 

YLFoundation logoThe D. Gary Young Living Foundation protects and empowers our world's young by investing in projects around the world that champion education, end exploitation, and develop enterprise opportunities for women. Young Living supports our programs to provide seed access, climate smart agricultural training, and market support to our partners around the world.

 


The following seed companies donate funds and/or vegetable seeds. Please think of them next time you need seed for your farm or garden!

Applewood Seed Co. Condorseeds hm clause logoSakata Seed America VoloAgri Group Seeds by design Seedway American Takii Logo Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Wild West Seeds Known-You Seed Co. Mr. Fothergill's Seeds Terranova Seeds

APPLY FOR VEGETABLE SEED GRANTSRotarians against hunger

2021 Deadline for Application: Oct 30, 2021

Rotarians and friends of Rotarians: do you have an idea for a vegetable gardening program to fight hunger in the developing world? Need seeds? We can help!

The Rotarians Against Hunger project is led by US Western North Carolina-based Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 7670. The project gives vegetable seeds to fellow Rotarians worldwide for nutrition, education, and income development projects.

Rotarians partner with NGOs or other community groups who distribute seed. Projects give training to help people use the seeds effectively. Read about one successful Rotarians Against Hunger project here.

Program Basics

  • Apply to receive seeds, including inspection and shipping costs (only within the continental U.S).
  • We don’t give cash.
  • Apply for 1-5 cartons of seed. Each carton holds about 1000 home garden-size packets of vegetable seeds, enough for 100 households to plant a garden.
  • Seeds are provided by Seed Programs International (SPI) and shipped from Michigan and North Carolina. 
  • SPI staff will work with you and your in-country partners to choose the suitable seed types for the climate, culture, and program goals. 
  • Projects may work on the level of households, villages, microenterprise projects, farmer cooperatives, school gardens, orphanages, IDP/refugee camps, or other settings.

 

How We Choose Projects

Applications are competitively evaluated based on these criteria:

  • Demonstrated Need. Nutrition is a community need; vegetable growing is a promising strategy to address that need.
  • Local Sourcing Not Possible. Appropriate, quality vegetable seeds are not available locally to the project.
  • Partnerships. Project applicants should be a Rotary club or district. Preference will be given to projects which have strong partnerships with local NGOs or other community groups. The partner group must effectively manage seed distribution and provide consistent program support, and monitoring in the community served.
  • Location. Rotarians Against Hunger seeks to give seeds for a mix of worldwide locations, including the U.S. The regulatory environment for importing seeds may make some destination countries less feasible. Contact SPI to learn more about this. 
  • Match. We do not want to be the sole supporter of a project. Applying Rotarians should already be invested in the community or plan to provide items or training that complement the seed use. Examples include tools and materials, soil inputs, water access, training cost, local travel for distribution, etc.
  • Customs and Import. Applicants or their local partners are responsible for the costs of clearing seed shipments from customs and local import permit fees.
  • Reporting Plan. By applying for and receiving seeds, you agree to report to Rotarians Against Hunger and SPI. Reports cover project results, including stories, photos, outcomes, successes, and challenges. Your reports give us material for publicity and program improvement. 
  • Shipping. Seed Programs International is shipping only within the continental U.S.  For projects outside the U.S., the applying Rotarian is responsible for shipping the seeds to the final destination.

 

Please note: if you are a returning applicant who has received seeds before, we may choose to reduce your quantity to support others. We hope that the local clubs or institutions, or growers, seeing repeated value in the program, can choose to begin to invest their funds in sourcing seed locally or from SPI.

To Apply

Complete your online application. Our deadline is October 30, 2021. We will review applications as they come in. We may contact you sooner with clarifying questions about your project. Thank you for your application to partner with the WNC Rotary district.

Apply Online Now

This application is also available as a Word document.

Questions? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Funding for seeds is available due to the generosity of Rotarians and many other community members across our District and beyond. Logistics support is provided by Seed Programs International. See rotariansagainsthunger.org for more details.

 

Seeds distributionWelcome, Peace Corps Volunteer!  If you are visiting Seed Programs International’s website, you have probably begun or are planning your service term — congratulations!  Most  Peace Corps Volunteers find that regardless of their area of expertise, they also end up working in some form of agriculture during their term. In the process, many volunteers identify a seed deficit and seek a source to fill this need.  This may be related to specific nutritional deficiencies in a community or to enhance local gardening efforts with improved seed.  Or, it may be to establish a seed bank or help boost the local economy with a  marketable commodity.  For any combination of these, Seed Programs International can supply the seeds.

SPI has had many successful partnerships with Peace Corps Volunteers.  Since 1998, we have sent  over 70,000 packs of seeds to Peace Corps recipients in 11 countries:  Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Peru, and Senegal. In addition to seed, SPI provides critical seed expertise.

SPI understands that the PCV does not arrive for their service with any funding secured for special projects.  We have several strategies for aiding the PCV to obtain the funding needed to fulfill their project goals.  SPI can help design a program to match each community’s specific needs.  Just tell us what you need using the button below and we’ll let you know how we can help.

Apply for Peace Corps Seed

You can also use our designated Peace Corps project fundraising page to raise money for your seed project. Just tell your supporters to put your name and site in the comments field when they donate.

 

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

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

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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
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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
+1-828-337-8632

 

Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON
613-406-6100

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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.