Throughout Africa, distribution of seeds and tools has become the preferred approach to assisting farm communities struggling to recover from disaster. Although a review of seed-based agriculture recovery efforts is beyond the scope of this paper, the popularity and persistence of seeds and tools is discussed. This is followed by a presentation of a Seed Security Assessment Framework and discussion of why seed security diagnoses have proved so challenging.
The purpose of this paper is to present a Seed Security Assessment Framework for seed system analyses or diagnoses, and an alternative approach to free distribution of seeds and tools in agricultural recovery which combines the distribution of seed vouchers with the organisation of seed fairs attended by a range of seed sellers and voucher holders.
The CRS seed vouchers and fairs methodology is not a panacea. However, it is a means of moving beyond repetitive seeds and tools. There are important challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed.