The Planning of Emergency Seed Supply for Afghanistan in 2002 and Beyond
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Contents Findings Part I Part II Part III References Abbreviations/Glossary Appendix 1 2 3 4 5 Maps
Part II : A Methodology for Appropriate Emergency Seed Aid Response « previous page | next page »
2.1 - Cultivar Selection Process
2.2 - Recommendations regarding UXO
2.3 - The risks associated with an over-emphasis on modern variety seed
2.4 - Hypothetical Seed Aid Needs in 2002

2.1 - Cultivar Selection Process

Although, a number of processes are available to select cultivars for seed aid, here are some considerations that should be included:

  • Seed variety types and needs based on local information with community input.
  • Land races should not be neglected for reasons of perceived yield potential. Restoring agricultural capacity and food security is the first step. Improving the systems with new technologies is the second step in a process. Here we are dealing with the first step.
  • If no local seed is available, than seed from nearby localities or similar environments should be provided.
  • New varieties adapted to local conditions could be added to provide farmers with more choice, but not given exclusively unless the varieties are already extensively grown in the locality.
  • Close collaboration with local authorities and respected local agriculturalists should be developed.
  • In the first year of emergency response, provide the crop and variety seed that the farmers are already familiar with when at all possible.
  • When appropriate seed is not available, consider providing food aid, livestock, rural credit and other components of agricultural rehabilitation until adequate supplies of local variety seed can be replicated.
  • In carefully researched instances approved by thoroughly-informed local communities, engage in outside sourcing of the same or similar type variety seed from sources in other countries. These transfers should involve transporting seed the shortest "environmental distance" possible.
  • Under no circumstances succumb to the patronizing outsiders¹ perspective that goes along the lines of:
    "Poor farmers, many have lost all their seed; what a marvelous opportunity to provide them with high-quality, modern variety seed and‹whether they are psychologically ready or not‹propel these conservative farmers into a more modern level of agricultural production all in one cropping season."
    Particularly during the first year of emergency response, the previous ratio of modern to local varieties of wheat and other major crops should be kept as it was.
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