Assessing farmer-managed seed systems in Uganda

The bulk of farming in Uganda is still mainly done by smallholder farmers and it is clear from previous
studies that Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS) stands out as the most reliable and affordable source of seeds for the vast majority of smallholder farmers. Under FMSS, farmers work at a local level to remain the custodians of local seed selection, storage and management. The right to healthy and sustainably produced food is at the heart of food sovereignty. Yet without access to quality, affordable seeds and the legal right to save, select and share seeds, no farmer or consumer can fully achieve this sovereignty. FMSS is proving to be a powerful tool in the struggle to reclaim seeds and biodiversity. This study builds on existing bodies of work by adding more case studies and insights, drawing conclusions and offering recommendations for strengthening support around FMSS.

The study showcases and unpacks FMSS, how they work and how they contribute to food and seed
sovereignty and maintains and enhances proper nutrition. It also provides an overview of the main threats to FMSS. The case studies presented speak to the diversity, resilience and rich traditions that exist across the country.

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ESAFF Uganda is a small scale farmer initiated and farmer-led movement formed to facilitate processes through which smallholder farmers’ development concerns can be solicited, articulated and ultimately addressed through local, national, regional and international policies and programmes.

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