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When Disaster Strikes: A Guide to Assessing Seed System Security

Authors: 
Louise Sperling
Organizational Authors: 
CIAT,
Catholic Relief Services,
USAID

Aid agencies often respond to food security emergencies by providing seeds for farmers in the affected region. But how can we ensure that such an intervention is a real solution and does not harm local seed systems and coping mechanisms? This guide presents a seven-step method for assessing the security of farmers’ seed systems in situations of acute or chronic stress, and helping practitioners determine what seed-related assistance is needed. It serves as a basic manual for donor agencies, government ministries, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals charged with agricultural relief and recovery, including those with little or no expertise in seed systems. (see Seed System Security Assessment: specific tools for the actual field assessment forms.)

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