Seed System-; Laws and regulations in Africa
Seed is one of the most essential components in the livelihoods of agricultural communities.
The possible benefits of seed to crop productivity and food security can be massive.
Production increases, by the use of adapted varieties, and increases farmers’ income when market linkages exist. Food security is heavily dependent on the seed security of the farming community.
Seed systems have an important role to play in Africa because agricultural productivity remains extremely low. The use of improved varieties is minimal. African farmers are denied the benefits of modern plant breeding. Both to them directly as producers, and ultimately to the consumers they serve. Seed laws and regulations are liberalized as public seed enterprises were privatized in many countries. Some countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda mandate that all seed produced domestically is certified, by a seed certification agency.
Diversity of seed production and distribution practices, including farmer-managed practices (e.g. custodian farmers, seed saver groups, community seed banks, local seed businesses, farmer field schools, and community-supported agriculture), makes up a resilient seed system. Such a system will contribute to greater food availability throughout the year and will support the production of more nutritious and healthy crops, income generation, and a sustainable resource base.