Seed Programs International

Woman in Bean fields, Courtesy FIPAH.

Woman in Bean fields, Courtesy FIPAH.

Sometimes we rely on the obvious to know a program is working: bountiful harvests, smiling families, heart-warming quotes. But other times, data helps.

Our field partner in Honduras, FIPAH (Foundation for Participatory Research with Honduran Farmers), has been doing great work to actually measure how lives change. They organize rural farmers into small groups and train them to lead the way in developing, growing, and using crops that are selected specifically for their climate, culture, and environment. FIPAH is aiming to scale to 173 farmer groups, representing 191 communities in 5 departments of Western and Central Honduras, by 2020. They are already more than halfway there!

Project leaders Sally and Marvin state, "In the early days of the project, farmer-led research was new to all members. This encouraged shared learning between men and women. Women took seed selection skills out of the kitchen and into public space."  Recently FIPAH has shared some research information, particularly on the question of how women are impacted. Here are some findings:

  1. Female farmers will select different ideal traits, when breeding a new variety, than male farmers.
  2. Participating in a farmer group led to not only increased crop yields, but also better household nutrition and more savings.
  3. After participating in a FIPAH farmer group, women were more likely to
  • participate in other organizations
  • occupy important positions in the community
  • take on salaried work
  • administer family finances
  • visit friends and neighbors 
  • work with her spouse in the fields
  • make agricultural decisions for the household, such as what to grow, where. 

FIPAH staff conclude: "Learning to do research gave poor women and men self-confidence. Self-confidence allowed women to use their liberty effectively and empowered them to make important household decisions."


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Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815


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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.