PO Box 9163, Asheville, NC 28815
SEED PROGRAMS INTERNATIONAL
Our programs primarily focus on crisis relief, women’s empowerment, school gardens, and improved livelihoods. Read more about each area below.
Most disaster response focuses on meeting short-term, immediate needs: shelter, food and medicine. While critical, this approach must be supplemented with medium-term recovery plans to rebuild lives and livelihoods. SPI's philosophy is to support recovery holistically. Vegetable-growing programs are unlikely to be the first response in a crisis, yet are an enduring, stabilizing element. Economists and disaster victims alike know that post-crisis food markets can feature wild shortages and surpluses, price spikes and crashes, and food-quality concerns. By fostering vegetable production, relief efforts can help provide long term resilience. A large portion of our work is focused on creating stability and sustainability via garden-based, food security programs with refugees and IDPs around the world.
Women farmers produce more than half the developing world's food, yet own less than 2% of land and receive little support - such as seeds, tools, and knowledge. Even more, studies show that for every dollar a woman makes, 90% of that goes back into the community, in comparison to only 30-40% for men. That is a staggering amount of money reinvested into health, education, and other household-level needs that improve livelihood indicators. It really is true what they say: investing in a woman is investing in an entire community. We join with women's gardening efforts worldwide including Madagascar, Guatemala, Liberia, and Kenya. By providing top-quality vegetable seeds and locally-driven support, women can access a path to empowerment, income, and nutrition.
Studies show that for every dollar a woman makes, 90% of that goes back into the community, in comparison to only 30-40% for men. That is a staggering amount of money reinvested into health, education, and other household-level needs that improve livelihood indicators. The high micronutrient value of vegetables works to prevent common health perils of the developing world such as child blindness, stunting, birth defects, and rickets. For example, carrots produce more edible calories per hectare per day than maize, potatoes, and yams – while also providing levels of lifesaving Vitamins A, C, and K not found in starchy foods. Even more, vegetables are less common in the marketplace than their starchy, staple-crop counterparts, meaning that by supporting vegetable production families can fetch more money for their extra produce than if they were just growing starches.
School gardens grow vegetables and also grow future leaders to counter hunger and poverty in their communities. In many locations, a garden-supported school lunch is the only healthy meal of the day and motivates parents to keep their kids in school. Through our school garden program, we teach food literacy, fight food deserts, and provide healthy lunches for students both at home in the US and around the globe.
Seed Programs International is a registered 501c3 nonprofit that operates globally. Our EIN/Tax ID is 56-2092576.