The example of Tanzania | Written by Abdallah Ramadhani Mkindi, Coordinator of TABIO | May 2015
Seed is the foundation of agriculture: without seed there can be no agriculture and hence no food for human survival. There are two types of seed systems in Tanzania: (formal) commercial systems, and (informal) farmer-managed systems. The commercial system consists of certified seed, standard seed and quality declared seed. The farmer-managed system consists of community seed management, farmer saved- and farmer-to-farmer seed. The two systems are faced with challenges that compromise the ability of smallholder farmers to gain reliable and adequate access to quality seed. There are concerns with regards to the government’s proposals to revise seed legislation. Moreover, seed sovereignty in Tanzania can only be achieved if smallholder farmers, who provide over 80 per cent of the country’s seed requirements, are placed at the centre of decisions on seed systems and policies.