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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

Appendix 2

Seed security assessment checklist

Below are sample questions for seed security assessments:

  1. Pre-disaster (baseline)
    • What are farmers’ most important crops? What do they use them for– consumption, income or both?Are these crops grown each season? What lesser crops might become important in times of stress?
    • How do farmers usually get seed or other planting material for these crops? (Consider all the channels.)
    • What are the sowing parameters for each major crop? What is the average area planted? What are the seeding rates? What are the multiplication rates (ratios of seed or grain harvested to seed planted)?
    • Are there important or preferred varieties of specific crops?
    • Which production inputs are essential for particular crops or varieties?
    • Who in the household is responsible for decision-making, managing crops and disposing of crop products at different stages of production and post-production?
  2. After disaster
    • Is a farming-related intervention feasible from the beneficiaries’ point of view?
    • Are farmers confident the situation is now stable and secure enough that they can successfully cultivate, harvest and sell or consume a crop?
    • Do they have sufficient access to fields and other means of production (manure, implements, draught animals)?
    • Are they prepared to re-engage in agriculture?
  3. Assessing seed supply and demand: home stocks
    • Are adequate amounts of home-produced seed available for sowing? This includes both seed from a farmer’s own harvest and seed potentially available through social networks (e.g. neighbours).
    • Is this a crop that farmers still want to plant? Is it adapted to local conditions? Is there still a demand for it?
    • Are the varieties available through a farmer’s own production still suitable for planting next season? Does the quality of the seed meet the farmer’s normal standards?
  4. Assessing seed supply and demand: localmarkets
    • Are markets generally functioning despite the disaster (are market days being held, are farmers able to move, sell and buy freely)?
    • Are current volumes of available seed or grain comparable to those under normal conditions at the same time during previous seasons?
    • Are crops and varieties that farmers find suitable for growing found in the markets?
    • Are current market prices of seed or grain comparable to the prices at the same time in previous seasons?If there is a price differential, is the magnitude likely to be a problem for farmers?
  5. Assessing seed supply and demand: formal sector seed
    • Are the crops and varieties on offer from the formal sector adapted to particular stress zones? Is there evidence farmers like them?
    • Can the amounts of formal sector seed available meet any need for aid? If not, what proportion of farmers’ needs could be covered?