INCREASE – Intelligent Collections of Food Legumes Genetic Resources for European Agrofood Systems

Seed Exchange

Do you want to offer your harvested bean seeds to other participants of the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment (CSE)? Or would you like to request seeds from someone in the INCREASE community? Then the seed exchange of the “INCREASE CSA” app is the right place for you! The option is available for all participants who have participated in previous rounds of the CSE and who validated their originally received seeds in the app. You can offer your harvested seeds, request seeds or a combination of both! Each gardener gets to receive seeds from the seed exchange just once per CSE round, but as a seed provider you can share as many seeds as your bean harvest allows.


  • Where do I find the seed exchange?

    To access the seed exchange functionalities, please make sure to have downloaded the latest version of the “INCREASE CSA” app. Then open the app and go to “My CSE” where you find the subpage “seed exchange”.

  • I don’t see the option seed exchange in the “My CSE” section.

    This can have two reasons:

    1. You do not have the latest version of the “INCREASE CSA” app. Please update the app to have access to the seed exchange functionalities.
    2. If this does not work, it is likely that you are registered as new participant. This means that you never validated seeds in a previous round of the CSE. As a new participant, you will receive seeds directly from us, not from other citizens.

The seed exchange process:

1. Seed exchange settings

  • Based on your pre-registration, other gardeners can see your available seeds.
  • In case you missed to announce seed availability or if you made a mistake, you can easily change the information on your seed availability in the app.
  • You can also indicate in the app whether you are generally available for seed exchange or not. If you are on holidays, for example, you can step out of the seed exchange during that time.
  • Note: Changes are not possible if there is an ongoing seed exchange request (see also section on pending seed requests).

2. Finding your favourite exchange match and requesting seeds

  • To request seeds from another member of our bean community go to the seed exchange section and use the filterable list. You can filter by Sender Country, Sender’s personal ID (Pid) or Bean Growth Type (bush or climbing).
  • In case you would like to select an exchange partner that you know in person, ask for his/her Pid and search for it. You can find your own Pid in the upper corner of the screen of the seed exchange section.
  • Before making your seed request, check out the list of beans the other gardener is willing to share, along with their characteristics. Note that all of the offered lines will be sent to you.
  • Note that once the seed request gets accepted you will not be able to request seeds from other exchange partners. Each gardener gets to receive seeds from the seed exchange just once per CSE round.
  • Once you selected your favourite exchange partner, confirm the seed request and wait for acceptance.

3. Pending seed requests – the exchange is on hold for both partners

  • While a request is pending, the receiver cannot request seeds from other seed providers. Only if the exchange partner declines or ignores the request, they will be able to request seeds from other seed providers.
  • The sender cannot receive other seed requests during an unanswered request. They must decline or accept the pending seed request to continue offering seeds to others.

4. Seed request acceptance

  • When a seed request is made, the seed provider will get a notification in the app and via email.
  • The seed provider should then open the app, where an acceptance page will automatically appear. The page displays general information about the requesting exchange partner, such as country and user ID (Pid).
  • The seed provider has the option to accept or decline the seed request. If the request is not declined or accepted within 7 days, the request is cancelled automatically and both exchange partners are back in the exchange pool.
  • If the sender accepts the request, the seed wish of the exchange partner shall come true! We count on the sender’s agreement to send the seeds, if the request is accepted.
  • After accepting a seed request, the seed provider is asked if more seeds can be shared with others. Within the limits of your available bean seeds you can share seeds with as many other participants as you wish.

5. SMTA acceptance

  • After the sender accepts the request, a Seed Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) is generated for the receiver. The SMTA is required for all seed exchanges. You can find more information here.
  • The receiver needs to accept the SMTA. This can be done easily via the app.
  • For your information, note that in the generated SMTA, required personal details of the exchange partners such as name and address are included.

6. Getting in touch with each other

  • After the SMTA acceptance, sender and receiver can see their respective email addresses.
  • Please get in touch with your seed exchange partner and clarify the relevant details: to which address the seeds should be sent and who will cover the costs for the shipment? Note that the INCREASE project does not cover any costs relating to seed exchange shipments.

Remember to always check your app notifications and emails for updates on seed exchange requests and to maintain smooth communication with fellow gardeners. It is not just a seed exchange – we are a community of bean friends!