Seed Programs International

Kitchen garden

Kitchen garden

Empowering women and growing gardens

Empowering women is essential to ending poverty and advancing gender equality. Due to war, natural disasters and gender inequality, women often have no way to escape poverty and malnutrition for themselves or their children.

When a woman learns a new skill, her whole world opens up. At Seed Programs International we are proud of our partnerships that allow us to advance the economic empowerment of women. With your help, vegetable seeds provided by SPI will grow vegetable gardens for women and children in great need of nutrition and income. Seed Programs International has helped grow over a million gardens since 1998. With your help we can provide support such as seeds, tools, and horticultural knowledge so women can grow food and provide for their families.

Ebola orphans - VOA#1 community

Ebola orphans - VOA#1 community

Thank you so much for your gifts. This is our second report:

The shipment of 50,000 packets of seeds made possible by your support left East Rochester, New York to hopefully be picked up and moving from JFK today. 

The seed selection includes cabbage, collard, cucumber, eggplant, okra, hot pepper and bell pepper. This represents a variety of foods that can be readily grown by households and fit well into the local diet, and are sellable at market to bring needed extra income. Our partners in Liberia have strong agricultural training and will select and distribute seeds accordingly.

Karam Foundation Distributing Potatoes
Karam Foundation Distributing Potatoes

Right now, it's not vegetable planting season in Syria, it's winter - the fourth winter of the humanitarian crisis brought on by war is settled in on the population, which includes 6 million people displaced from their homes. As shown in the photo here, our partner the Karam Foundation is helping out now by distributing potatoes and cooking oil to families who lack food. This photo is from rural Idleb, Syria. But: what happens when food aid runs out, as just occurred briefly when the UN World Food Program ran out of money for Syria?

The beauty of seeds is that they help people grow their own food, decreasing dependence on aid, and even allowing the saving of some seeds to plant the next season's crop.

Idleb, shown in the photo, is in fact one of four regions that will be serviced with this first seed delivery, come spring.

Our first shipment of vegetable seeds - 41,000 packets - departed JFK airport this week, headed to Turkey where they will be staged for distribution to in-country refugee households in Syria as Spring planting season approaches. Vegetables include cabbage, melon, okra, lettuce, eggplant, hot and sweet peppers, and several other vegetable seed types.

41,000 seed packets sounds like a lot at first, but the number shrinks a whole lot in light of the 6,000,000 displaced. That's why your donation to this ongoing GlobalGiving project is needed. We're aiming to multiply this one pallet of vegetable seed manyfold, and help more people who have suffered alone long enough. Please spread the word using the links at https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/seeds-for-syria/share/.

Potatoes to get through Winter

Potatoes to get through Winter

farmer trials Large

Bean research led by small farmers in honduras.

We have encountered some difficulties getting recent shipments of seed into Honduras because of import restrictions that require negotiation with the ministry of Agriculture.  But that  delay is perhaps for the best because of the very heavy rains in the fall in Honduras.  So the bad news is actually good news --  we would have lost many of the seeds to flooding had they gone in earlier. Luckily, there are continued traditional vegetable planting seasons in the early months of 2015. This year, the nutrition provided by these vegetables will be especially important because the endless rain has made it hard to mature, dry, and harvest the staple food crops of maize and beans.

Meanwhile, the work to build farmer skills, knowledge, and leadership by our partner FIPAH has continued unabated.

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.