The harvest is in the seed

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we at AfricaSeeds are conscious that seed delivery is crucial to ensure that farmers can plant their preferred varieties on time for the next season. During these unprecedented times, seed sector actors need to find new ways to carry out this essential service.

Some of us may have to work remotely, and need improved access to knowledge and information online, rather than face-to-face. Some other may need to acquire new skills. To respond to these needs, we are making information and knowledge about the seed system more readily available for all actors of the seed sector.

There are numerous quality information materials about seed sector sustainable development available out there. This wealth of knowledge addresses the entire array of the seed value chain. It can be used to strengthen the capacity along all steps of the seed value chain, for a more coordinated and effective seed sector development.

Every week, we highlight a specific initiative that is working towards strengthening knowledge about the seed sector in Africa via the publication of training material, guidelines, policy briefs, frameworks, datasets, videos, etc. The improved visibility of these initiatives will contribute to increase seed security, thus boosting the foundation of food security and livelihoods of Africa.

Support capacity development in the seed sector by sharing these resources!

21 Nov 2020
©WDCI-ISSD

Week 10 – Methodology: Rapid Seed Assessments and Alerts

Author: AidEnvironment, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) & ISSD
Topics: seed sector, transformation, evidence-based decisions

The Rapid Assessments are currently being piloted to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the functioning of the seed sector in Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Uganda, where WCDI collaborates with national partners in seed programmes.

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22 Oct 2020
© FAO

Week 9 – Guidelines: Voluntary guide for national seed policy formulation

Author: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Topics: seed sector, governance, policy

This guide explains what seed policies are and how they differ from seed laws; describes the participatory process of seed policy formulation; the nature and layout of seed policy documents; key elements contained in seed policies; and addresses issues involved in their implementation.

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11 Oct 2020
©ICRISAT

Week 8 – Guidelines: ICRISAT models and lesson learnt on seed systems

Author: International Crop Research Institute for the Arid Tropics
Topics: seed sector, governance, research

ICRISAT aims at building, with partners across crop value chains, inclusive and sustainable seed systems that provide dryland small farmers with sufficient quantity of high quality seeds, at the right time and right place, at reasonable costs.
In this webpage, you will find useful models and lessons learnt on the seed dilemma: How to reach smallholder farmers. Available in English.

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01 Oct 2020
©Access to Seed Index

Week 7 – Documentary base: publications of the Access to seeds index

Author: Access to Seeds Index Initiative
Topics: seed enterprises, performance, seed sector, private sector

Part of the World Benchmarking Alliance, the Seed Access Index assesses and compares seed companies on their efforts to improve access to quality seeds of improved varieties for smallholder farmers. The index primarily seeks to identify leadership and good practice, providing a database for discussion on where and how the seed industry can step up its efforts.

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22 Sep 2020
Paris Diderot

Week 6 – Research essay: Improving plants and seed systems: consequences for seed diversity

Author: Marie Boucher, Paris 7 Diderot University
Topics: Seeds, agrobiodiversity, terminology, seed systems

This documentary and terminology research commentary provides a base of terms and documents that can help in the presentation and popularization of the issues relating to seed systems and biodiversity in agriculture.

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11 Sep 2020
AGRA ©

Week 5 – Document base: Feed the Future programs initiatives

Authors: USAID, Catholic Relief Services, AGRA, Seed Systems Group
Themes: Early Generation Seeds, market, innovation, policies

USAID’s Feed the Future programs and partners have been striving to create quality seeds of improved crop varieties in order to deliver higher yields to smallholder farmers. Partners include: Catholic Relief Services through USAID support, AGRA, and the Seed Systems Group.

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03 Sep 2020
©CIRAD&INERA

Week 4 – Working paper: “Agriculture and seed regional policies in West Africa: actors and strategic focus”

Author: CIRAD & INERA, 2020
Topics: Legislation / Governance / Harmonisation 

This working paper summarizes the basis of knowledge and information on public policy that regulate the seed sector in the West African. It synthesizes the contributions of several sources of information relating to master’s work, experts’ interviews, consultations’ forums between 2016 and 2020.

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24 Jul 2020
Covid-19 and seeds

Week 3 – Guidelines: “Covid-19 and Seed Security”

Author: seedsystem.org (2020)
Topics: Policy / Planning / Emergency / Covid-19

Covid-19 is bringing new challenges, including to farmers, seed systems, and to seed security response. This brief is part of a set of guidance notes that aim to help humanitarian practitioners think through the possible effects of Covid -19 on farmers’ seed security – and then to offer guidance on possible response options, if needed.

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16 Jul 2020
Resilient Seed Sytems

Week 2 – Guidelines: “Resilient Seed Systems: Shared Action Framework”

Author: Global Alliance for the Future of Food (2019)
Topics: Policy / Research / Partnerships / Governance

The Resilient Seed Systems Shared Action Framework (available in English and Spanish) is a strategic guide for diverse stakeholders to take a holistic, collaborative approach to protecting and enhancing the world’s seed systems and to galvanize the action on agricultural biodiversity.

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