Agriculture is the mainstay of the economies of developing countries and the source of livelihood for the majority of their populations. In view of this, it is considered crucial that the performance of agriculture should ensure food security and provide a strong economic base.
Towards this aim, improved seeds have been widely recognized as a key ingredient for enhancing farm productivity and overall crop production and thereby attaining the goal of food security.
However, medium to large private companies, so far, do not
effectively produce and distribute seeds of most major non-hybrid food security crops in developing countries. Case studies undertaken in Africa, Asia and Latin America indicate that smallholder seed enterprises could provide a valid alternative if supported.
This publication aims at raising the awareness of decision makers and provides guidelines of best practices and policy options for promoting and supporting the growth and development of smallholder seed enterprises.