Briefing on Seed System Security Assessment (SSSA):
What is it and how we plan to promote it in FAO Emergency Operations?
A common response to a crisis is the provision of seeds, so that vulnerable households can restart their food production. However, this standard response may not always be appropriate. In fact, several agencies have asked for many years the same question: “how do we know if these vulnerable households are seed insecure?”. Normally FAO relies on requests from the host governments and Food and Crop Assessments but in reality, these requests do not distinguish between the problems with seed availability and the lack of access to seeds.
Over the last ten years, two cash transfer modalities involving agricultural inputs: Input Trade Fairs (ITFs) also know as Seed Vouchers and Fairs and more recently voucher have widely been used to support agricultural recovery, both in emergency and development situations. The FAO guidelines on the use of cash-and-voucher systems is now being finalized. In both interventions, farmers receive vouchers that they can exchange for selected agricultural inputs including seeds. The Seed System Security Assessments (SSSAs) play a critical role in under if there is seed insecurity and determining the most appropriate seed relief intervention and therefore, are a key tool to establishing whether Voucher Programs and ITFs are appropriate alternatives to in-kind distribution.
Download the report of the outcomes of the Workshop on Mainstreaming Seed System Security Assessments held at FAO Headquarters, Rome in November 2012 here.