Closing the hunger gap through improved seed access – Latest developments in policy and practice


September 19, 2019

46th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), 14-18 October 2019, FAO, Rome, Italy

Side-event on:

Closing the hunger gap through improved seed access – Latest developments in policy and practice

15 October 2019
8.30-10.00 am
Lebanon Room

The side event on 15 October will showcase how small and medium enterprises can sustainably deliver quality seed locally/regionally within specific agroecological zones. The discussion is jointly convened by Self Help Africa, Vita, IFPRI and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), the Integrated Seed Systems Development (ISSD) Africa initiative led by Wageningen UR and partners, and Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Dr. Mywish Maredia, Michigan State University, who co-leads PIM’s cluster of activities on Science Policy and Innovation Systems for Sustainable Intensification, will attend on behalf of the program and talk about PIM’s research on seed system policy regulatory environment.


The genetic improvement of food staple and micronutrient-rich crops cultivated by small-scale, resource-poor farmers is a well-established route to food and nutrition security and thus a key contributor to the achievement of SDG2.

The sustainable supply of high-quality germplasm is common to all approaches to agriculture, agroecology and food systems. Past decade has seen dramatic changes in policies and regulations that govern national seed systems in many countries. Policies and regulations require a set of tradeoffs for each country and its farmers. Some of these have been perceived to negatively impact on smallholder farmers' seed requirements. This session will present an overview of the seed policy landscape in the tropical and sub-tropical countries and provide practical examples of how the seed needs and interests of smallholder farmers can be addressed by policy makers, small and medium scale seed enterprises and communities, and how seed systems can adapt to changing climates. This event aims to provide a nuanced appreciation of the trade-offs, unintended consequences, and implementation challenges of the policy, investment, and programmatic choices made by governments, enterprises, cooperatives, and farmers themselves.

Photo: Bioversity International/Alfredo Camacho

More about CFS 46