Expert meeting on the impact of seed laws on smallholder farming systems in Africa: challenges and opportunities
This Expert Meeting, organized by the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Africa Program, in collaboration with partners, took place in Cape Town, 16-17 March 2016. The meeting aimed to present and discuss the findings so far of ISSD Theme 3: Matching global commitments with national realities. The meeting was divided in three sessions, each centered around one of these three action learning questions: 1) How can national and regional seed laws support the development of a robust, integrated seed sector that supports smallholder farmers’ needs?; 2) How can Access and Benefit-Sharing policies make valuable contributions to seed systems that promote farmers’ resilience to climate change?; and 3) How can room be created for informal and intermediary seed systems in a UPOV ’91 informed Plant Variety Protection system? The meeting focused on both the challenges that certain current seed law provisions create for farmer seed systems as well as provisions and initiatives that can support these seed systems, in order to strengthen smallholder farmers’ seed security and livelihoods. This was done by presenting the outcomes of various ISSD Africa pilot studies, reports from partner organisations, and the experiences from country representatives. The outcomes of these discussions and consultations are briefly summarized in the report and will be included in the synthesis reports that will summarize the main findings, conclusions and recommendations that result from the various ISSD Africa pilot activities presented at the end of the 2-year ISSD Africa piloting phase in September 2016.