Seven ways seed systems help the world’s poor
This blog by the International Potato Center (CIP) explains different ways how effective seed systems help the world’s poor. An effective seed system can help mitigate the impact of pressures due to climate change by helping smallholder farmers access quality materials that increase crop yields and are responsive to the challenges they face in their fields. Poor farmers do not need to rely on deteriorated planting materials saved from previous seasons when an effective seed system is in place. The availability of quality disease-free planting materials helps enhance smallholder farmer yields and ensures sufficient food for household consumption. Additionally, increased yield may result in improved income for smallholder farmers and lower prices for consumers. Consumers also gain from a greater varietal availability on the market and from the quality and traits that the seed system is providing growers. A seed system alone doesn’t improve overall nutrition, but it can influence it when there is a focus on creating varieties with high micronutrient content. Improved nutrition through seed systems is possible when a country emphasizes the development of nutritious varieties as part of their mandate. Strong seed systems help agricultural economies devastated by natural disasters or conflict revive more quickly, since it helps well-developed networks of suppliers go quickly to scale and help revive the food economy.