Wednesday, April 02, 2014
ONLINE RESOURCE: seedsystem.org aims to improve seed security in high stress & vulnerable areas across the world
An international coalition of organizations has launched a public resource website: SeedSystem.org.
This website is dedicated to strengthening smallholder farmers’ seed systems. SeedSystem.org is for practitioners, researchers, managers, policy-makers and donors working in humanitarian relief and agricultural development. Let us move forward as a Community of Practice that promotes seed system security and puts the needs of women and men farmers fully front and center. This site shares resources (tried-and-tested technical guidance!) and has three main aims:
- to improve intervention practice;
- to improve assessment;
- to improve strategic thinking around seed system response and seed system development.
More concretely, what does the site provide? Tools and resources to help donors, program managers, and front-line practitioners decide how best to respond to seed system constraints in emergency, recovery, chronic stress and developmental contexts:
- Practical advice briefs give guidance on themes needing real-time response. Should we introduce new varieties just after a disaster (and what about hybrids)? How can we support and not undermine the local seed markets? Is seed quality an issue?
- Assessment tools, help field staff identify seed security constraints and opportunities for the upcoming agricultural season and several to come.
- Field assessments and evaluations serve as guides for action planning and as baselines against which to measure aid effectiveness.
- Policy resources tackle the emerging issues in seed security program design. How should system resilience be promoted? How can seed security response be linked to nutritional gains?
The site promotes some cutting-edge thinking, but is also practical. With specific toolkits and policy aid, it aims to meet 21st-century needs for evidenced-based seed system responses. As many seed system security assessments (SSSAs) have occurred in the world’s ongoing disaster hot spot areas — Eastern Congo, Haiti, South Sudan, Horn of Africa — strategies put forward should have repeated applicability.