Latest Farmer Seed Systems Resources

Registration of farmers’ varieties in SADC

Key Issues emerging from the dialogue between CSOs and SADC, African governments August 2020 The registration of farmer varieties is a controversial issue. On the one hand, it is argued that registration facilitates accessible opportunities and benefits for local farmers, such as increasing visibility of varieties, promotion and protection of indigenous knowledge, and opportunities for […]

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Input Subsidies in Mozambique: the future of peasant farmers and their seed systems

In this report, the African Centre for Biodiversity outlines and assesses input subsidy programmes in Mozambique, as part of the larger agriculture policy landscape, and the impact this has had on the agricultural sector, particularly on smallholder farmers. In Mozambique, peasant farmers feed the country mostly using their own seed. Yet the majority of (donor-funded) […]

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Production quality controls in farmer seed systems in Africa

This ACB report explores issues relating to farmers’ independent seed development, production and distribution. Drawing from innovative case studies in Brazil, East Africa and elsewhere, suggestions are presented to strengthen farmer quality control practices. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 65% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods, producing around 80% of food consumed. […]

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Seed policy paper: Towards national and regional seed policies in Africa that recognise and support farmer seed systems

The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has prepared this policy discussion document as a contribution towards national and regional seed policies in Africa that recognise and support farmer seed systems. The document is an effort to synthesise the policy issues emerging from our research and advocacy work on farmer seed systems in the past few […]

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A review of participatory plant breeding and lessons for African seed and food sovereignty movements

There is growing awareness of the unique and important role smallholder farmers around the world play in conserving, using and enhancing biodiversity. Conventional breeding has created a separation between farmers and specialised breeders. Participatory plant breeding (PPB) is a field of action developed over the past 25-30 years to overcome this separation, and reunite farmers […]

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Celebrating smallholder farmers and seed diversity in South Africa: Report from the national seed dialogue and celebration

On 8 and 9 December 2017 the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) hosted a national seed dialogue and celebration at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Farmer representatives from eight provinces, along with civil society organisations, academics, and officials from the Agricultural Research Council and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) participated in cultural events and […]

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Local seed varieties are essential for sustainable food systems … but face challenges

Smallholder farmers in Mozambique want access to a diversity of quality seed, but not exclusively from the formal sector. Farmers highly value their own varieties and want to work on enhancing these, too. These strong messages came out of a dialogue held between smallholder farmers, government officials and research institutions in Chimoio, Manica Province in […]

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Against the odds, smallholder farmers maintain agricultural biodiversity in South Africa

This report is a result of research conducted in partnership with Tshintsha Amakhaya, Farmer Support Group, TCOE Zingisa and Surplus People Project. The report investigates the state of farmer-managed seed systems in rural South Africa. Through three case studies in Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, the report highlights both the fragility and perseverance of […]

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Farmer-managed seed systems in Dowa, Malawi: A legacy of eroded confidence and agricultural diversity after decades of Green Revolution implementation

This report is the product of field work conducted by ACB and Kusamala Institute for Agriculture and Ecology in Dowa district in central Malawi. The objective of the research was to deepen our understanding of the role of farmer seed varieties in smallholder production systems that have come under heavy pressure from concerted Green Revolution […]

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Mapping farmer seed varieties in Manica, Mozambique: initial investigations into agricultural biodiversity

This scoping exercise to deepen our understanding of the current context of seed use, main crops and varieties in the research localities in order to gather evidence of the ongoing importance of farmer seed systems in the agricultural practices and livelihoods of smallholder farmers, to identify cases of biodiversity loss and to use this information […]

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Farmer Managed Seed Systems in Morogoro and Mvomero, Tanzania: The disregarded wealth of smallholder farmers

In this report by the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), in partnership with Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) and Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT), based on field work conducted in Morogoro and Mvomero in 2016. It is a continuation of a research partnership with MVIWATA and SAT started in 2014, which has focused on […]

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Investments in the Beira Corridor in Mozambique: threats to farmers’ seed and food systems

The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in partnership with the União Nacional de Camponeses (UNAC, National Peasants Union), and Kaleidoscopio has today released preliminary findings in a research project: ‘Agricultural investment activities in the Beira Corridor, Mozambique: Threats and opportunities for small-scale farmers.’ Joining Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi to the coast of Mozambique, the Beira […]

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