Understanding seed systems and strengthening seed security
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Sperling, Louise; Cooper, David. 2003. Understanding seed systems and strengthening seed security. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/53005
This paper provides background information on seed systems and seed relief interventions for participants at the Workshop on Effective and Sustainable Seed Relief Activities, Rome, 26–28 May 2003. In this paper we review the rationale for and goals of seed aid (section II) and provide an overview of seed systems, with particular attention to the “local” or “informal” seed system that provides most farmers with seeds most of the time (section III). In section IV, the parameters of seed security are discussed, including the distinctions between availability, access, and utilization (or quality) attributes. Acute and chronic emergency situations are also described. In section V, lessons learned from experience in the field, particularly in Africa, are summarized and discussed, and in section VI, current response options are described and compared, focusing in particular on direct seed distribution and seed fairs and vouchers. Finally, some major challenges for moving ahead are considered in section VII.