Farmer seed networks make a limited contribution to agriculture? Four common misconceptions | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2015
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
handle:10568/68005
Pages: 
41-50
License of the resource: 

The importance of seed provisioning in food security and nutrition, agricultural development and rural livelihoods, and agrobiodiversity and germplasm conservation is well accepted by policy makers, practitioners and researchers. The role of farmer seed networks is less well understood and yet is central to debates on current issues ranging from seed sovereignty and rights for farmers to GMOs and the conservation of crop germplasm. In this paper we identify four common misconceptions regarding the nature and importance of farmer seed networks today. (1) Farmer seed networks are inefficient for seed dissemination. (2) Farmer seed networks are closed, conservative systems. (3) Farmer seed networks provide ready, egalitarian access to seed. (4) Farmer seed networks are destined to weaken and disappear. We challenge these misconceptions by drawing upon recent research findings and the authors’ collective field experience in studying farmer seed systems in Africa, Europe, Latin America and Oceania. Priorities for future research are suggested that would advance our understanding of seed networks and better inform agricultural and food policy.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Coomes, O.T.
McGuire, S.J.
Garine, E.
Caillon, S.
McKey, D.
Demeulenaere, E.
Jarvis, D.
Aistara, G.
Barnaud, A.
Clouvel, P.
Emperaire, L.
Louafi, S.
Martin, P.
Massol, F.
Pautasso, M.
Violon, C.
Wencelius, J.
McGill University
Central European University
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
European Food Safety Authority
University of East Anglia
Universite de Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Defense
Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle (France)
Institut Universitaire de France

Corporate Author(s): 

The IRD (Institut de recherche pour le développement) is a multidisciplinary research institute dedicated to working closely with partner countries on global development issues. Placed under the joint supervision of the French Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International
Development, the IRD uses an original approach on development research and expertise throughout its international network in over 90 countries. The IRD aims at using its research and tools for the benefit of countries that make science and innovation the prime levers for development.

Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization. We have a vision – that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet.

We deliver scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security.

We work with partners in low-income countries in different regions where agricultural and tree biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation.

CIRAD is a French research centre working with developing countries to tackle international agricultural and development issues.



Publisher(s): 

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals.

All knowledge begins as uncommon—unrecognized, undervalued, and sometimes unaccepted. But with the right perspective, the uncommon can become the exceptional.

Data provider

CGIAR (CGIAR)

CGIAR is the only worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.


Related categories

Share this page