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Dos and Dontsp65

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Dos and Dontsp65

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									Working with the community to understand local seed systems in the Horn of Africa.



 What crops and varieties       should be consulted. However, it is important
 should be provided to farmers? to realize that because farmer varieties are not
                                                    included, official release does not always
This is the most frequently asked question by       equate with farmer acceptance. Following
humanitarian agencies planning emergency            the 1990/91 drought in Zimbabwe, seeds of
seed programs. More realistic questions are:        recently released early-maturing sorghum
What seed is available now? Is it locally           and millet varieties were provided to
adapted? Do farmers like it? Most countries in      farmers as emergency relief, and these are
the region have lists of crops and varieties that   still being grown on 25-40% of that country’s
have been officially released, and these lists      sorghum and millet area. On the other hand,


                                 Suggested interventions
   Instead of providing farmers with seed (and other agricultural inputs) directly, farmers
   should be provided with means of accessing seed from alternative sources. Three
   related approaches have been used successfully.
   1. Provide farmers with cash. This approach was used in Honduras after Hurricane
      Mitch and has subsequently been used in Mozambique to assist targeted
      households affected by the 2000 flood.
   2. Provide farmers with vouchers that can be redeemed for seed through established
      seed retailers. This approach has been piloted in both Zimbabwe and Malawi.
   3. Provide farmers with vouchers that can be redeemed for seed at locally organized
      seed fairs. This approach was developed by Catholic Relief Services and has been
      used in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Mozambique.

								
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