Not all Seed is Declared Equal: Improving Access

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This document presents the key discussions and findings from a February 28, 2017, seminar on improving access to quality seed. The conference brought together experts and practitioners in seed systems and aimed to address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in accessing quality seed in developing countries. The speakers discussed various topics, including the importance of official seed quality controls, the concept of Quality Declared Seed (QDS), and the potential of QDS to fill the gap between formal and informal seed systems. The first part of the document highlights the role of seed quality controls in addressing farmers' concerns about seed quality and ensuring a level playing field for seed producers. It emphasizes the need to avoid fake seeds in the market and discusses seed certification and testing processes as mechanisms to guarantee seed quality. The second part focuses on the Quality Declared Seed (QDS) concept and its potential to improve access to quality seed, particularly for crops and varieties not served by formal seed companies. The speakers present the case of Uganda, where QDS has been implemented successfully, enabling farmer groups to produce and market quality-assured seed. The benefits of QDS, such as increased availability of quality seed and reduced reliance on low-quality seed from the local market, are highlighted. The third part of the document explores efforts to promote quality seed supply in legume crops in Tanzania. It discusses the context of legume crops in the country and the importance of these crops for food security and income generation. The speakers present models and initiatives implemented in Tanzania to improve access to quality legume seeds, considering the diverse formal, semi-formal, and informal seed systems.
Seed systems, Smallholder farmers
Nagarajan, L., R. Jones, and V. Rweyendela. 2017. “Efforts to Promote Quality Seed Supply in Legume Crops: Models in Practice in Tanzania,” Presented at the Agrilinks/Microlinks–BFS USAID Special Policy Seminar on Not All Seed Is Declared Equal: Improving Access, Washington, D.C., USA, https://