Cultivating knowledge on seed systems and seed strategies: Case of the rice crop

This review gives key information about seed systems with the objective of helping countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to design appropriate strategies based on their own local realities. It starts with an in-depth assessment of the rice seed sector and emphasizes the factors that can influence its development. These factors may be associated with the biological characteristics of the rice crop, the complexity of farming
systems, the policy environment, and the markets. The historical background of the seed sector in SSA is described in order to give a clear picture of the different attempts to find solutions in different countries and sub-regions. Five major strategic models and several alternative seed strategies are identified. However, local traditional seed systems will remain the primary source of seed supply for the majority of farmers for many years to come. These systems are based on farmer-saved seed and farmer-to-farmer seed exchanges, which are efficient tools in seed dissemination and food security.

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