Farmers’ access to quality and diverse seed in Nepal: Implications for seed sector development
Authors: Rahel Wyss, Isabel López Noriega, Devendra Gauchan and Dominique Guenat
This study analyses rice and finger millet seed systems in Nepal, particularly Ghanpokhara, Lamjung and compares them with the seed systems found in other parts of the country. It presents factors that influence seed availability and accessibility for rice and finger millet along the continuum of seed systems from formal to informal. Elements that may limit or facilitate smallholder farmers’ access to quality seed, which is adapted to their environmental and socio-economic conditions, are highlighted. The preferences of farmers in remote areas of Nepal are of particular interest, especially in relation to crop varieties, seed sources and seed quality. These and other elements emphasised in this policy brief must be taken into consideration when defining public policy interventions aimed at extending formal systems of seed production and commercialization to areas where production of and access to seed have always relied on informal mechanisms. This policy brief is based on research (Master Thesis) which took place under the umbrella of two different projects funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), coordinated by Bioversity International and implemented by the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD).