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Going beyond established divides
Seeds are a building block for the diversification of food production systems. Yet, the coexistence among different seed systems remains a controversial topic at technical, political and research levels. This info-point will address the research and policy dimensions associated with the co-existence of seed systems and clarify the relevance of this theme for the diversification of food production systems.
Food production is not anymore the exclusive goal of the agricultural sector. In the context of the Green Transition, food production systems are to reduce the negative impacts on biodiversity and climate change. Nutrition, equity and cultural values, agrobiodiversity, climate resilience and climate mitigation are policy objectives that are associated to the agricultural sector. However, conciliating these different objectives remains a challenge, notably in seed sector where the classical division between formal and informal seed systems still structures the policy discussion and the research practice. Binary visions undermine the generation of a plurality of solutions that, instead of neglecting, take diverse seed systems as the basis to respond to the diversity of challenges of food production systems.
Diversification in seed systems can be understood both at the biological (from genes to agrosystems) and organizational/management levels (from the plot/farm to the entire region or globe, via the village, the agrosystem or the country). A holistic and pluralistic approach to seed and crop diversity systems is consequently needed to organize the coexistence of different food production systems at these different scales and enhance the participation of the different communities of actors, which manage differently, but complementarily, sets of crop diversity under different sets of rules.
This info-point will address the research and policy dimensions associated with the co-existence of seed systems and clarify the relevance of this theme for the diversification of food production systems.
Referring to the main findings from the CoEx multi-stakeholder flagship project, Sélim Louafi (Cirad) will show why the classical division between formal and informal seed systems that still structures the policy discussion and the prevalent research practice is insufficient to describe and value farming practices of access and use of crop diversity. Carlo Fadda will present the new genetic innovation program of the OneCG and its vision of support to a sustainable seed supply system. Kent Nnadozie (ITPGRFA Secretary) will present to what extent the International Treaty offers to date the most pluralistic framework to address the needs and concerns of the wide range of stakeholders involved in crop diversity management. Roger Kaboré (AMSP, Farmers’ organization in Burkina Faso) will discuss the point of view ad participation of farmers’ organizations in seed systems.
Director of INTPA F
Deputy director of the AGAP Insitute, CIRAD
Director, Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
ITPGRFA (International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture) Executive Secretary, FAO, Rome
Director, AMSP, Farmers’ organization, Burkina Faso