FAO Special Action Programme on Seeds
"Sustainable Seed Development Programme" (SSDP)
Widespread use of improved seeds by farmers is recognized as the most credible and cost-effective strategy for increasing food production. The 1996-97 Director General's Programme of Work and Budget includes a new Special Action Programme on Seeds to ensure that emerging trends in seed development are more appropriately and effectively addressed.
The Special Action Programme on Seeds aims to:
- develop national seed policies and plans to ensure balanced development of all components of the seed sector as well as relevance to national agricultural goals;
- develop national seed programmes, particularly in the fields of seed multiplication, quality control and marketing;
- define seed security strategies both for emergency needs and to provide reliable access to quality seed for farmers. The programme will incorporate subregional networks which will link with in-country capabilities for emergency seed supply and local cultivar preservation and use;
- develop the informal seed sector to stand as a recognized and well-organized channel for making seed available to the mass of small farmers who have hitherto been inadequately assisted by the formal seed sector. Activities will comprise mainly on-farm seed multiplications for which networks will be established such as those currently being developed for SADC Countries in Southern Africa;
- train and organize farmers, with a particular attention to women farmers, in a number of subregions to become involved in seed production as a village or cottage industry, in recognition of the paramount role of women in the agriculture of those areas.
- organize a seed industry advisory service to collect data and information on the industry as a reliable basis for seed matter interventions. Activities will include demand and supply of surveys, advice on the introduction of new technologies, feasibility studies and guidance in the establishment of self-sustainable seed programmes. The Caribbean Seed and Genetic Resources Information Networks (CSEGRIN) will also be an important activity under the advisory service.
For further information please contact Mr. Umberto Menini, Service Chief.
Go to the FAO
Home Page or to the FAO Agriculture