Seed laws: Bottlenecks and opportunities for participatory plant breeding

Bram De Jonge*, Gigi Manicad, Andrew Mushita, Normita G. Ignacio, Alejandro Argumedo, Bert Visser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Seed policies and laws from developing countries around the world generally fail to recognize the importance of farmers’ seed systems, or support participatory plant breeding (PPB) practices. Instead, national seed laws and regional harmonization processes aim primarily at regulating and stimulating the formal, commercial seed sector. This neglect of farmers’ seed systems and the diverse needs and realities of smallholder farmers involved in breeding and seed production can result in serious bottlenecks for PPB projects. For example, smallholder farmers may not legally be allowed to exchange farm-saved seed amongst themselves; they may not be able to register as seed producers; or they may not be able to register their new varieties. Some countries and organizations have responded by developing alternative systems for seed certification and variety registration. Such alternative approaches can strongly support and facilitate PPB projects, but they remain scarce and little-researched. Further investment is needed in their development and implementation, and in impact assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFarmers and Plant Breeding
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Approaches and Perspectives
EditorsO. Tveitereid Westengen, T. Winge
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISBN (Electronic)9780429507335
ISBN (Print)9781138580428
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2019

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