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Smallholder farmer autonomy over seed production

Smallholder farmer autonomy over seed production

by African Centre for Biodiversity

3358 views - Submitted on Mon, 18/06/2018



Smallscale farmers feed the world, providing up to 70% of food consumed globally. The seed is the first link in the food chain. If farmers do not have their own seeds or access to open pollinated varieties that they can save, improve and exchange, they have no seed sovereignty – and consequently no food sovereignty. In South Africa, there is almost no smallholder farmer involvement in formal sector seed multiplication, and even small seed enterprises are few and far between. Farmers do produce their own seed for reproduction on a smaller scale. One obstacle to farmer involvement in commercial seed production is the rigid and standardised quality control system which is designed for large companies. Farmers’ production of their own seed is restricted for exchange on the basis of the same quality control system. More flexibility is required to create space for smallholder farmers to multiply seed for distribution in their localities and beyond. At this session on Seed multiplication/farmer-based quality controls from the National Seed Dialogue and Celebration, hosted by the African Centre for Biodiversity at Constitution Hill in December 2017, some of these questions were discussed.


 
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