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  • Naume Kalinaki

SEED GIST Unveiled on International Seed Day: A Beacon for Farmer-Managed Seed Systems

On this International Seed Day, we reflect on the profound historical significance of small-scale farmers in safeguarding our agricultural heritage. Their tireless efforts in seed conservation not only form the bedrock of seed production but also drive agricultural innovation and adaptation.

Through the Farmer Managed Seed System (FMSS), small-scale farmers meticulously save, select, exchange, and develop seeds within their communities, laying the groundwork for agricultural progress. Despite the invaluable contributions of the FMSS, it remains largely unrecognised by other actors in the seed sector.

This oversight has far-reaching implications, impacting agricultural biodiversity, food security, traditional knowledge, social equity, environmental sustainability, and farmers' rights. As climate change intensifies, there's a pressing need to bolster support for the FMSS, indigenous varieties, and environmentally sound farming practices. Yet, investments in these crucial areas remain inadequate.

In response to this critical need, we are proudly launching the SEED GIST, a quarterly repository of seed literature. Our clear mission is to cultivate knowledge for future generations, ignite conversations, influence equitable seed policies and investments, and foster a global community around the FMSS.

In this inaugural edition, we shine a spotlight on the indispensable role of small-scale farmers in preserving the diversity of our seed heritage. From age-old traditions to innovative strategies tailored to modern challenges, we delve into the rich tapestry of experiences and wisdom that define our agricultural legacy.

Moreover, we aim to facilitate dialogue, share best practices, and advocate for policies that uphold sustainable and equitable seed systems. Our vision extends beyond mere information dissemination; we seek to galvanise action, empowering small-scale farmers and stakeholders to envision a future where seeds are not just commodities but pillars of food sovereignty and rural prosperity.

ESAFF Uganda serves as the custodian of the SEED GIST, curating stories from diverse sources worldwide, including NGOs, academia, small-scale farmers, researchers, and the media. These narratives serve as catalysts for knowledge dissemination and sustainable change within the FMSS.

In this edition, we turn our focus to the Ugandan context, examining the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Act, Farmer Managed Seed Systems, and Farmer Variety Registration (FVR). Through this lens, we spotlight the disparities within the seed sector and explore interventions and recommendations that pave the way for a fair and inclusive seed system that respects the rights of small-scale farmers.

Do you have any knowledge or experience with farmer-managed seed systems in Uganda? The SEED GIST eagerly invites your contributions. Whether you're a farmer, researcher, or advocate, we welcome your stories of success, challenges, innovations, and advocacy efforts. Together, let us inspire and empower small-scale farmers while championing sustainable seed systems for generations to come.


The SEED GIST_ 1st Issue_Jan to Mar 2024
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