December is Seed Systems Month
Agricultural inputs are crucial for a sustainable agricultural system and vital to achieving USAID’s development goals: sustainable, agriculture-led economic growth, strengthened resilience among people and systems, and a well-nourished population." Within that, seed systems play an important role in building a sustainable and productive food system. This December, we will highlight and discuss the integral role of seeds systems in assisting food systems around the world become more sustainable, resilient, and nourishing.
This Seed Systems Month will be hosted by the Feed the Future Global Supporting Seed Systems for Development activity (S34D), an activity implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and jointly funded by the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security and the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. S34D was designed to strengthen the interface, linkages and collaboration among the formal and informal seed systems, and humanitarian seed aid programming to increase the capacity of the seed systems and emergency seed interventions, and to improve seed data and information flow to address seed-policy bottlenecks. To improve the functioning of high-impact integrated seed systems, there needs to be greater coordination and collaboration among the development and humanitarian aspects of seed assistance. Giving farmers greater choices on crop-seed varieties and access to high quality seeds improves development outcomes. To strengthen the seed sector as a whole, S34D works with the formal, informal and emergency-to-relief seed systems.
Throughout the month, S34D and other seed system actors will share their work that has been completed over the past few years. A few blogs to keep your eyes out for will highlight:
- An assessment by Opportunity International on the financing potential of the seed sector in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania and Niger.
- Work done by CRS on the impact of free seed on the development of the local formal seed sector.
- An assessment of the use of vouchers and cash during input fairs to ensure access to agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and small livestock during and following disasters.
- Work conducted by CRS in Ethiopia on a new approach to examine seed demand forecasting.
- A five-country study assessing high-quality seed production by farmer seed producer groups and its policy implications (collaboration between CRS and Oxfam Novib).
- Work to lay out existing and potential business models regarding last-mile delivery of seeds conducted by the International Fertilizer Development Center.
This month will also feature a webinar in which the findings of an analysis of the yellow bean corridor in Tanzania will be presented by the S34D partners the Alliance for Bioversity International and CIAT, PABRA, and the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute. The webinar, Grain Market: A Pull for Seed Businesses across Bean Corridors in Tanzania, will take place 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Dec. 16, 2021, More information and a registration link can be found on the event page.
Stay tuned this month for an array of fresh, new content from USAID’s seed systems partners and check out these additional resources from the past year and a peek at what is coming this month.
Agrilinks Seed Systems Resource Roundup
- Yellow Bean Corridor: Seed & Grain Trade Potential
- Market-led Interventions for Seed Security Response
- Regulatory Flexibilities Bridge Gaps Between Seed Systems
- Digitally Tracking Dissemination & Targeting Markets: High-Iron Bean Seeds in Kenya
Seed systems resources
- S34D website and the DEC
- Southern Africa Seed Trade Project
- Integrated Seed Sector Development
- Comparing Seed Indices and Metrics
- Forage Seed and Feed Reserves
- Global Seed Policy Review
- Market-led Interventions for Seed Security Response in Emergencies
Forthcoming webinars in the new year
- High-Quality Seed Production by Smallholder Farmer Groups: A Global Case Study (CRS and Oxfam Novib)
- Development and Comparison of Seed Regulatory Systems Maps in Ethiopia (CRS and New Markets Lab)
- Forages informatics dashboard (CRS)
- Livestock feed and climate change (CRS)