The Indigenous Foods Preservation Project

DIG is working to preserve and promote cultural heritage by reconnecting growers to their indigenous fruits and vegetables.

Developed out of our Farmer Field School program, DIG is working with select communities to rediscover and actively cultivate indigenous fruits and vegetables in group demonstration gardens and at home. Together with these dynamic farmers, we are reintegrating culturally rich and highly nutritious foods into local diets and local markets. These efforts are also teaching the broader community what rich resources they can readily tap into.

In Uganda, DIG has been working with the Batwa to identify, understand, record, and grow select indigenous fruits and vegetables they once sourced from the forest.

26 different plants were recorded and 13 were successfully grown in their demonstration farms.

8 of those indigenous fruits and vegetables are now being regularly grown and consumed in Batwa home gardens around the forest edge.

Read more about DIG’s work with the Batwa here. 

In Kenya, where new laws restrict farmers from saving or selling unregistered seeds, DIG is quietly working to encourage farmers to boost their household resilience and preserve crop biodiversity by saving and trading their indigenous seeds.

These seeds are often the most acclimatized to the local climate and are more likely to thrive in extreme weather conditions.

What’s more, seed saving is a cultural practice that has boosted food security and propagated indigenous knowledge for generations. To sever people from that practice would only worsen hunger and poverty across the continent and result in a loss of crop biodiversity.

Watch the short film on DIG’s Seed Savers of Kenya

Help Plant Seeds That Reap Life

Help Plant Seeds That Reap Life

With your support we can grow our capacity to equip uniquely vulnerable families with the skills and experience to meet their own needs and improve their well-being through gardening.