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Manuals | July 14, 2008

When Disaster Strikes

A Guide to Assessing Seed System Security

International 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. It offers guidance to help practitioners determine what seed-related assistance is needed. The guide serves as a practical 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.

CONTENTS

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Background to Seed System Security Assessment
  • Step 1: Identify Zones for Assessment and Possible Intervention
  • Step 2: Describe the Normal Status of Crop and Seed Systems
  • Step 3: Describe the Broad Effects of the Disaster on Farming Systems
  • Step 4: Set Goals for Agricultural Relief and Recovery Operations Based on Farmers' Needs
  • Step 5: Assess the Post-Crisis Functioning of Seed Channels to Determine whether Short-Term Assistance Is Needed
  • Step 6: Identify Chronic Stresses Requirign Longer-Term Solutions and Identify Emerging Development Opportunitites
  • Step 7: Determine the Most Appropriate Responses, Based on Analysis of Priority Constraints, Opportunities, and Farmers' Needs
  • Abbreviations
  • Glossary
  • References