Seed is the single most important agricultural input of crop production, but not all seed is equally accessible and/or available. Agrilinks, Microlinks, and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance held a special event where experts addressed how Quality Declared Seeds (QDS) might be able to close some of the gaps by offering a range of crop and seed varieties critical to climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive agriculture.
Many small-scale farmers cannot afford to get large quantities of expensive certified seed and Quality Declared Seeds could provide an impact-oriented alternative. Produced by registered, trained, small-scale farmers or farmer groups, QDS can be an efficient way to expand smallholder farmer access to diverse seed varieties.
The event explored global seed quality regulations and trends with key examples and case studies from Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi. Participants had the opportunity to engage in and discuss:
- The benefits of multiple seed certification systems and how the quality of QDS compares to other seed classes
- What country-level policies are needed for Quality Declared Seeds to be adopted, produced, and traded
- The financial costs and benefits of QDS