Home

Seed Programs International

SPI Seed Distribution & HarvestsSeed Programs International works by reclaiming seeds from the seed industry that might otherwise go to waste. Our seed donors include companies of diverse size and location, and you can see our seed donor list on our sponsors page. We accept donations of both hybrid and open-pollinated seed so we can offer our project partners a choice that is most appropriate for their programs. For example, if a project will teach seed saving methods, they will choose open-pollinated seed. We do not accept donations of GMO seed.

In most cases, seed is donated to SPI because seed companies have simply produced more of a particular variety of seed than they can expect to sell during the seed’s lifetime. SPI maintains relationships with seed companies so they can find a home for these unmarketable seeds. They choose to donate this excess to SPI in order to help feed the world – an ultimate example of what is known as upcycling: turning trash into treasure!

SPI, in turn, researches each variety to ensure that it is a good match for the climates, contexts, and cultures where our seed is needed.

In certain cases, SPI can play a special role for the seed industry: we accept seed that would have minor issues in the hands of commercial growers, but will produce great food for people facing hunger. Say, for example, that 20% of a production lot of carrot seed grows carrots a little too short for the specifications of commercial growers. There’s no way to sort out the two types of carrot seed. It all looks the same. So, the entire lot of carrot seed is now unmarketable. But it’s still a source of great food, and SPI’s role is to get this seed to those people worldwide who need it most.

In all cases, the companies donate the seed in bulk, in large sacks or packages. SPI keeps seed stored and quality tested. We fill small paper packets, printed in appropriate languages, for use to relieve hunger and malnutrition worldwide.


Partner OrganizationsSeed Programs International has worked with more than 200 partner organizations in 75 countries around the world. These include small school projects in which one or more schools are sent seed packets to establish a modest garden, to major crisis recovery efforts, to medical relief providers who value nutritious food for care recipients.

We rely heavily on our partners to activate local indigenous expertise, to distribute seeds fairly and to remote locations, and to provide hands-on training. Many partners incorporate microenterprise approaches, voucher programs (for seeds, tools, and training), and/or support for utilizing vegetables through cooking, sale, or storage/preservation.

Here are some of the partners who have used SPI’s seed, services, and expertise around the world in 2013 through 2017.

 

Africa

4-H Liberia
A Well-Fed World
, Liberia
American Foundation for Children with AIDS
 (AFCAIDS), Uganda & Zimbabwe
ASSOMESCA, Central African Republic
Cameroon Association of Active Youths (CAMAAY)
Caring Response Madagascar Foundation
Children of the Nations
Church Aid Inc., Liberia
Equipped With Truth, Uganda
Evangelical Center of Prayer and Mission, Côte d'Ivoire
Friends of the Needy, Uganda
Gift of Joye Foundation, Gambia
Global Care Alliance (formerly Frances Kitchen Project), Burundi
Good to Grow, Ethiopia
Grace Project, Kenya
partner organizationsGreen Coast Agriculture Program (GCAP), Liberia
GrowEastAfrica (formerly DCBO), Ethiopia
Grow Where You Are, Kenya
Horn Of Africa Development Initiative (HODI), Kenya
Jacob F. Tomei Enterprise Center, Liberia
Network Innovation for Children's Endeavor (NICE), Liberia
Nourish International, Cameroon
One Vision For Africa, Liberia
Peace Corps South Africa
Peace Corps Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
Peace Corps The Gambia
Peace Corps Togo
Restoration of Educational Advancement Programs (REAP), Liberia
Peace Corps Zambia
Southwood Lutheran Church, Tanzania
Safe Hands for Girls, Gambia
Seed Savers Network Kenya (SSNK)
ONG Salam Centre, Comoros
ONG St. Gabriel, Madagascar
Tree of Life Ministries, Uganda
Toil and Promote Agriculture (TAPA), Uganda
Voices of Africa, Tanzania
Wells for Zoe
Word Made Flesh (formerly THARS International), Burundi
World Food Programme, Lesotho
World Renew
World Vision
Youth Action Without Borders, Senegal
Zimconserve

 

Asia

Christian Friends of Korea, North Korea
Karam Foundation, Syria
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Albania & Kosovo
Peace Corps Mongolia
Rotary Club of Maysville NC, India
Woven Earth, Nepal

 

Caribbean

4-H, Jamaica
Ayiti Konse Vet (AKV), Haiti
Black and White for Jesus Ministries (God's Adopted Kids), Haiti
Children's Light Ministry, Haiti
Christian Aid Ministries, Haiti
Consider Haiti
Empower Global, Haiti
Faith and Love in Action, Haiti
Friends of Belle-Rivière (FBR), Haiti
Hands for Haiti
Harvest International, Haiti
ICOFE, Haiti
Joy and Hope of Haiti
League of Hope, Haiti
Little Footprints Big Steps, Haiti
Missions of Love, Haiti
St. Barnabas Agricultural College (CASB), Haiti
Think on These Things Ministries, Jamaica
Tree Angels for Haiti

Vision Citadelle, Haiti
Vision for Haiti
Zanmi Agrikol, Haiti

 

Central America

Partner organizationsAk Tenamit, Honduras
ASO-Ixil, Guatemala
Assignment Hope, Bolivia & Colombia
Bright Star Philanthropy Partners
ByoEarth, Guatemala
Davidson College Presbyterian Church
FIPAH, Honduras
Friends of Honduran Children
Give Joy 2 One
Kids Konnect 4 Jesus (via Rise Against Hunger, formerly Stop Hunger Now)
Let Hope Begin Here, Guatemala
Mennonite Social Action Committee
Mision para Cristo
Peace Corps Belize
Pop Atz'iaq, Guatemala
Rotary Club of Copán Ruinas, Honduras
The Ripple Effect, Guatemala
World Vision Honduras

 

South America

Assignment Hope, Bolivia & Colombia
UNIPA Awa

 

Multiple

Rotary International
Rise Against Hunger
Watson Children’s Foundation

SPI facilitates access to good vegetable seed and gardening expertise — this is where we excel. When the seed hits the ground around the world, much of what happens next depends on the creativity and hard work of our partners.

When we enter into a partnership, our partner’s goals become our goals where they can align with our mission. Partners know best what is needed for their success. We rely on their expertise to facilitate a relationship between us and their communities, and to ensure that the decision-making for our programs is directed from within those communities.

Projects are accomplished by people working in a specific social and environmental context. Because we rely on our partners to lead projects in collaboration with their farming communities, we also strive to understand the contexts in which they work.

Here are just a few examples of the partners who have used SPI’s seed.

SPI’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jack Bernens, Chair
JTB Ventures, Inc.
Retired, Head, Enogen Business at Syngenta

Debra Kiliru, Vice-Chair
Executive Director, Light A Path (interim)

Jason Nickerson, Treasurer
Director, Context Global Development

Sharon Hanson, Secretary
Manager, Seed Quality and Technical Support Services
Retired, Registered Seed Technologist

Karl Fiander, President of SPI Canada
Retired, Pickseed Canada

June Lavelle
Owner and Chief Consultant, Lavelle & Associates, Inc.

Dr. Brian Love, Immediate Past Chair
CEO, Ag Science Insights LLC

Pete Perez
Retired EVP Human Resources, ConAgra Foods

Jim Schweigert, Executive At-Large
President, Gro Alliance, LLC

Thomas Tolman
Retired, President, Condor Seed Production

Tim Batcha
CFO, Standard Holding Corporation

LEGAL COUNSEL TO BOARD

Gary Kushner
Hogan Lovells US LLP. Legal Counsel, American Seed Trade Association.

BOARD EMERITUS

John A. Batcha+
Founder, Seed Programs International
Board Chair Emeritus

+ Deceased

 

Seed Programs International is a nonprofit organization, recognized under the United States of America's Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). As such, we are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

In turn, we hold transparency and accountability as key values.

Click to view:

Our most recent audited financial statements.

Our most recent IRS tax form 990.

We welcome any inquiries of our staff or board.

 

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
+1-828-337-8632

 

Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

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

Get Connected

Facebook  Twitter  Email

Join Our Newsletter

Signup with your email address below to receive our quarterly e-newsletter.

 

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.