How to Strengthen Farmer Seed System Resilience

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How to Strengthen Farmer Seed System Resilience. Tom Remington Catholic Relief Services TOPS Workshop Washington DC November 14, 2012. Making R esilience Relevant. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of How to Strengthen Farmer Seed System Resilience

Agroecological Descriptors

How to Strengthen Farmer Seed System ResilienceTom RemingtonCatholic Relief ServicesTOPS Workshop Washington DCNovember 14, 2012

Making Resilience RelevantThe resilience debate has been dominated by an abstract discussion about how aid agencies should describe their work. In order to give more meaningful support to people whose livelihoods are precarious, far more understanding is needed about what kind of support is most effective and how this can best be delivered.HPG Policy Brief 49 September 2012Shocks and Stresses Impact Farmer Seed SystemsDroughtFloodConflictPests & Diseases

Presentation QuestionsWhat are seed systems?What is seed security?What is resilience?How can seed systems be made more resilient?

What is a Seed System?Both botanical and vegetatively propagatedInterconnected rather than linearSeed intimately integrated with productionWidely variable within and between cropping systemsWomen play a critical role

Seed Security Conceptual FrameworkParameterDescriptionAvailabilitySufficient quantity of seed of appropriate crops available in proximity in time for plantingAccessPeople have adequate income or other resources to purchase or barter for seedVarietal QualitySeed is acceptable purity of adapted and preferred varietiesSeed QualitySeed is of acceptable cleanliness and viabilityResilienceThere are diverse seed sources to meet farmers needs after shocks or stresses 6The Six Parameters of ResilienceResilienceResilience & VulnerabilityThe ability to adapt when confronting shocks and stressesThe susceptibility to and inability to cope with shocks and stresses Scale and Scope






AutonomyIndependenceSelf SufficiencyFreedomChoice

Understanding Seed SystemsSeed System Security Description & DiagnosisProductivity & SustainabilityMore than Varieties & SeedIntegrated Nutrient ManagementIrrigation & DrainagePest & Disease ControlStorageMarketingFertilizer UseDiversity & StabilityFarming SystemIntegrated crops and animalsCropping SystemMulti- & inter-croppingVarietyAddition & substitution SeedEnsuring multiple sources

Equity & AutonomyFarmers at the center as seed managersFarmer customer segmentationCritical role of womenAccess & choice:Own saved seedSocial networkMarketCommercial

Supporting and Empowering Farmer Seed ManagersOnce farmers have the variety, the economic gains from using certified seed of the self pollinated crops usually does not justify the investment. Moreover, certified seed is not always better quality than the seed reproduced by a farmer (Almekinders & Louwaars, 1999)

21ConclusionsResilience is the right approachThere is a need to go beyond defining to applying resilience in practiceStrengthening seed systems can increase resilienceResilience needs to be applied to other agricultural subsectors