The complex and labour-intensive characteristics of jhum or shifting cultivation pose a challenge for many farmers like Riong Mro. In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a scarcity of seeds had left his community struggling to cultivate their lands. Even after tending to their crops for long hours, farmers were unable to produce good harvests due to their inability to preserve quality seeds.
To ensure seed security and generate extra income from selling seeds, a small group of farmers, including Riong, created a communal seed bank With the support of the AFD-funded agro-ecology project. This seed bank, which Riong and four others now manage, has made the Mro people more self-reliant. Farmers can borrow seeds for free from the bank whenever they need it, under the only condition that they return double the number of seeds after harvest.
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