CTDT is a registered non-governmental organization founded in 1993 whose main effort is directed towards empowering communities over custodianship of their genetic resources and the protection of these resources through supportive policy and legislative frameworks to enhance conservation and sustainable use. CTDT has emerged as one of the strongest advocates in the region ensuring that farmers have adequate access to genetic resources, receive crop improvements and technological support and participate in the process of formulation of corresponding national and regional policies. CTDT, despite operating under difficult and challenging period in the history of the country, the organization has increased on farm seed production and is promoting OPV maize , sorghum cow peas in order to help small holder farmers to cope and adapt with the challenges brought about by climate change. The local communities now use locally produced seed varieties that are suitable to their own agro-ecological zones. In addition, the organization has established community seed banks to enhance access of the means of seed production. CTDT has greatly influenced policy formulation in Zimbabwe especially on issues related to the domestication of the FAO-Treaty and highlighting the importance of recognition of farmers’ rights. CTDT has been involved in drafting memorandum of principles for Farmers’ Rights legislation in Zimbabwe. CTDT has produced many publications including:
- Farmers’ Rights Regional Policy Briefs (Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe);
- a Training manual on access to biological resources, benefit sharing and material transfer agreements;
- publications addressing the impact of IPRs on agro-biodiversity including the “Hidden Threats” which is an analysis of IPRs on agro-biodiversity and its threats to securing food security.
In order to expand its influence in the region on matters related to people centered rural development and the areas of operation as stipulated above, CTDT has opened a country office in Zambia.