Seed in fragile states

Key challenge

Seed systems in fragile states differ from their counterparts in more stable environments. In order to be able to respond effectively, stakeholders must understand these differences and their impact. Once differences have been identified, those stakeholders must be able to adapt their interventions to the unique challenges and opportunities that are inherent in the context of a fragile state. More effective interventions will in turn help build the foundation for functioning seed systems that can supply communities with sufficient access, availability, and utilization of seeds and improve long-term resilience of the systems.

Action Learning Questions

How do seed systems in fragile states differ from seed systems in more stable countries?

  • What are the challenges and opportunities seed systems face in fragile states?
  • What elements of a seed system are most robust in conflict-affected areas and which are disproportionately affected?
  • How does the balance of informal vs formal seed systems change in fragile states?
  • Does fragility impact male and female seed users differently, and if so how?

How do we adapt assessments, interventions and learning in conflict-affected environments to promote more resilient seed systems?

  • What are the specific challenges and opportunities of various interventions for seed sector development in fragile states?
  • Are current seed system assessments applicable to fragile states? What interventions have been successful?
  • Are there interventions that can reduce gender-specific vulnerabilities?
  • How do gender issues impact the type and effectiveness of various interventions?

Activities and outcomes

This action learning project proposes to review the unique challenges of seed systems in fragile states and develop tools to enable donors to 1) effectively understand these differences and, 2) decide on priority interventions. The tools and knowledge gained will allow more effective interventions to develop seed systems in fragile states and will increase the overall resilience of the system and improve food security.

By the end of this set of action learning activities, key donors and international actors will understand the differences between seed systems in stable states vs. seed systems in fragile states, and the opportunities and challenges in fragile states. They will also understand what interventions are most effective in fragile states and will be able to tailor their interventions appropriately. This understanding will allow more effective and more targeted use of future funds in long-term comprehensive seed system development and strengthening projects, and will contribute to the overall increased resilience of seed systems in fragile states.