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Seed security and resilience: Gender perspectives

This presentation was given by Shawn McGuire (Food and Agriculture Organization / FAO) on 21 November 2019, as part of the webinar ‘Gender dynamics in formal seed systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide lessons'. The webinar was co-organized by the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research and CGIAR Research Program on Maize.

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Seed security and resilience: Gender perspectives

  1. 1. Seed Security and Resilience: Gender perspectives Shawn McGuire CGIAR Gender Platform Webinar
  2. 2. A. Seed Security = Farmers are able to access the quality seeds and planting materials they desire at time of sowing 3 dimensions 1. Availability – is there seed in the area, at time of sowing? 2. Access – can farmers buy / barter / borrow seed (also, related knowledge)? 3. Quality • Genetic – adapted to environments, traits farmers want? • Seed - healthy, free of contaminants, can germinate? (FAO: Seed Security Conceptual Framework)
  3. 3. Formal and informal systems 3 Plant Genebanks Cultivation Harvest SEED Storage Consumption Breeders Seed producers Other Local Markets Channels for access to seed Govt. Comm. Aid Own stocks Exchange Markets (Adapted from Almekinders & Louwaars, 1999)
  4. 4. 4 Seed sources smallholders use % of all seed supplied – all crops (n=10 076) Local markets Own Stocks Agro-dealers Aid Others 48 % 30 % 8 % 11 % 2 % (Data from: Haiti, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo; McGuire and Sperling, 2016) • Informal sources dominate • Purchase is important – mostly in local markets • Farmer-farmer exchange?
  5. 5. Gender and seed security • Availabilty – (not normally limiting) Gender: Which crop? E.g. vegetative, neglected / underutilised? • ACCESS – frequently a constraint Gender: Purchasing power, information channels, mobility, links to financial or policy support • Quality – can be a constraint Gender: linked to access; support for on-farm storage, 5CGIAR Gender Platform Webinar21 Nov 2019
  6. 6. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Malawi Kenya % Local markets Agro-dealers Local Markets and Gender – maize n=464
  7. 7. NGO/Gov't assistance Local markets Agro-dealers Others 68 %14 % 7 % 11 %* Sources of new varieties (n=1, 683) * Incl.: social networks 7.5%; contract growers 0.2% community seed groups 1.7% ; other 1.7% 37% of farmers- across crops CGIAR Gender Platform Webinar21 Nov 2019
  8. 8. 821 Nov 2019 Makueni, Kenya - sources for maize (circles) - supply corridor for beans (line) Local markets
  9. 9. B. Quality Declared Seed / Planting Material • Some countries have adopted: Quality Declared Seed / Planting Material • Aim: expand reach of formal system (geography, crops, producers); fill gaps; bring quality seed to smallholders at affordable prices • Successes in Uganda – production of legume QDS expanded, prices lower than Certified seed • Potential to improve access, expand market opportunities? • Needs access to Foundation seed, technical and institutional support, an enabling environment, effective distribution and marketing • Many questions remain, particularly around farmer demand, benefits, impact on diversification CGIAR Gender Platform Webinar21 Nov 2019
  10. 10. 10 C. Resilience FAO’s Resilience strategy has 4 pillars 1. Enable the environment – policy frameworks and institutions 2. Watch to Safeguard – early warning systems 3. Apply Risk and vulnerability reduction measures – Seed security, natural resource management, adaptation planning 4. Prepare and respond – seed reserves, contingency plans; humanitarian assistance, social protection
  11. 11. Resilience and seed systems • Diversity important –germplasm, channels, business models • Range of flexible responses needed  crop and variety portfolios, farmer choice • Comes via Systems, not assets: Not only a variety trait CGIAR Gender Platform Webinar21 Nov 2019
  12. 12. Some areas for action 1. Identifying varieties suited to different scenarios: ‘crop/seed systems in reserve’; 2. Enhancing availability of diverse varieties; 3. Ensuring access to diverse seed, for vulnerable; 4. Information systems to build knowledge of all seed chain actors of supply, demand, adaptation - and continued learning; 5. Expand crop/variety repertoires, seek opportunities. Linking seed systems to dynamic elements – e.g. commercial opportunities, crossing geographic boundaries (adapted from McGuire and Sperling, 2013)
  13. 13. Examples • Demonstration plots, Farmer Field Schools, seed fairs • Decentralize and diversify seed production • Supporting access: use diverse supply channels • Supporting access: financial services, social protection. Also - insurance? Unconditional cash? • ICT - Early warning systems, market information • Regional harmonization of seed policies CGIAR Gender Platform Webinar 1321 Nov 2019
  14. 14. A six-module Toolkit to support the development of farmer-led and smaller-scale seed enterprises (English, French and Spanish) • Development of Small-Scale Seed Enterprises • Seed Processing • Seed Quality Assurance • Seed Sector Regulation • Seed Marketing • Seed Storage Practical tools
  15. 15. THANK YOU! Shawn McGuire Seed security Officer Plant Production and Protection Division FAO, Rome