Integrated vegetable seed systems development – Vietnam
Duration: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2022
Full title: Integrated vegetable seed systems development in ethnic minority communities in Northern Vietnam for enhanced nutrition and income security
Objective: This project aims to address issues related to vegetable smallholder seed systems in Northern Vietnam. Issues mentioned in the proposal are identified as inadequate access to quality seed of exogenous and indigenous vegetables varieties of desirable uniformity, health, and physiological properties, and traits such as disease resistance, micronutrient density, and consumer characters.
Abstract: Vegetables are a main source of income and nutrition for ethnic minority farmers in Vietnam’s Northern highlands. While value chains for fresh retail produce and seed markets offer huge opportunities for development, particularly for women and youth inclusion, current smallholder seed systems suffer from multiple problems. These are due to inadequate access to quality seed of exogenous and indigenous vegetables varieties of desirable uniformity, health, and physiological properties, and traits such as disease resistance, micronutrient density, and consumer characters. Insufficient quality guarantees, poor storage and treatment, lack of access to appropriate information resources, and limited smallholder participation in seed value chains, combined with the effects of biotic and abiotic shocks affecting seed security, aggravate the situation.
The research proposal addresses these issues by elucidating how, and under what conditions, increased access and use of high quality seed translates into enhanced smallholder incomes and nutrition security. The research project will particularly address the knowledge gap of trade-offs to simultaneously optimize technical, organizational, economic, and social components of seed systems. Increasing clarity about trade-offs is essential to design highly adapted innovations and to inform the policy debate steering Southeast Asian seed governance. The project adopts an integrated approach organized around three major work packages (WP).
- WP1 will take a broad approach and pursue “seed system characterization” for contrasting situations based on crop reproductive biology, producer ethnicities, and market systems.
- WP 2 will focus more in-depth on 4 to 6 case studies to research how select demand-driven and business-led improvements in seed production, marketing and business can enhance ‘smallholder seed access’ (specifically for ethnic minorities).
- WP 3 will provide fast-track insight into “evidence based pathways”, and interactions between seed access vs. nutrition security and seed security vs. food security.
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This project received funds in the Call on “Seed Systems Development (SSD): Enabling and Scaling Genetic Improvement and Propagation Materials” which was released by NWO-WOTRO within the framework of the Netherlands-CGIAR research partnership. The nine awarded project consortia consist of Dutch research institutes, CGIAR Research Programs or platforms, and (Dutch or local) partners from the public and private sector.