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Indonesia, one of the largest agricultural countries, is facing environmental threats and extinction of local seeds. Over time, more and more farmers have been depending on hybrid and transgenic seeds that need inputs, such as chemical pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers. Farmers have to buy from companies that produce seeds and chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, this practice is eradicating Indonesia’s indigenous plants and biodiversity, such as local squash and local beans that Balinese people usually used for ceremonies.
The Local Balinese Seeds Preservation Project of the IDEP Foundation (Yayasan IDEP Selaras Alam) aims to implement sustainable agriculture in the communities of Bali. IDEP Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports sustainable development through permaculture. Its seed preservation project seeks to implement seed-saving activities in local communities that are located in Banjar Dauh Uma, Batuan village, Sukawati, Gianyar regency. Seed saving, which is also part of permaculture principles, is a high-potential method to implement in any agricultural field. This is also an urgent matter for farmers in Indonesia and needs to be developed because Indonesia does not have an integrated seed bank on a national scale.
The one-year project was completed in several stages. The first stage was a desk study on seed varieties that currently exist in Bali, local Balinese seeds, and disbursement areas. The next phase was implementing the local seed-saving process, improving the quality of seeds, and educating the communities about local seeds development. The goal was to come up with the first complete collection of local Balinese seeds that could be replicated in other areas across Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. This project targeted to benefit 10 households in Banjar Dauh Uma that would be able to produce and grow their own food. Furthermore, the project aimed to promote savings and generate additional income from surplus seeds that IDEP Foundation helps distribute to markets in Bali.