Improving Food Security Through Community-based
Seed Systems in the Rainfed Rice Areas of Asia
2011 2 pp. by Digna O. Manzanilla, Rosa Fe D. Hondrade, Casiana M. Vera Cruz, David E. Johnson
Can governments help farmers in rainfed areas get easy access to quality seeds? In many risk-prone environments, the lack of good-quality seeds of well-adapted crop varieties is a major obstacle to improving food security and securing livelihoods. Inferior seed quality is a common result of the farmers’ reliance on their own harvest for seeds, which may be of low quality, and poor storage conditions. Farmers in rainfed areas generally have limited access to off-farm seed sources or the formal seed sector because their resources are limited and they have few economic opportunities. In addition, private seed producers find few economic incentives to invest in these areas. Farmers tend to rely on traditional varieties that are well adapted to lowinput farming systems, with good eating quality, but often have poor yielding ability. Increases in agricultural productivity have been hard to achieve due to poor infrastructure, limited market access, and poor information systems. In general, farmers remain poor and food insecure in many rainfed areas.
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