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Seed vouchers and fairs: A manual for seed-based agricultural recovery in Africa

2002 — By Catholic Relief Services, International Crops Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Overseas Development Institute

This manual describes a new (2002) approach to post-emergency seed distribution in Africa, where farmers receive not free seed but vouchers that can be exchanged for seed at a specially organized seed fair. Seed fairs rely on commercial seed firms (where they are in operation), as well as local seed producers and traders. This approach allows farmers to choose what crops/ varieties and quantities they want.

The manual provides an overview of seed systems and their components, and describes how to plan and implement the seed voucher/seed fair approach. The examples quoted are from southern Sudan, but the approach can be adapted for use in other disaster-affected areas as well.