Figure 5: A seed voucher valued 500 Ugandan Shillings used by the Catholic Relief Services
in Uganda. Photo: CRS/Uganda.
Seed vouchers and seed multiplication
The seed voucher system can also be used with seed multiplication where seed is provided to a
few farmers identified by the community and these will be responsible for multiplying that seed
and selling the seed they produce to voucher holders in the community.
The seed produced will be sold or exchanged for vouchers at a seed fair or a seed fair can be
organised to link the seed multipliers with farmers who require seed. After the fair the selling will
be conducted on an individual basis and the vouchers are later redeemed for cash.
The seed voucher system is used mainly with such crops as sweet potatoes and Open Pollinated
Varieties of maize, sorghum and pearl millet. This is necessary to maintain gene quality.
Seed fair experiences
A number of organisations in the sub-Saharan region have been involved with seed fairs and
may provide valuable experiences. Some of the organisations include:
Practical Action Southern Africa
Practical Action East Africa
Catholic Relief Services
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
COMMUTECH – Community Technology Development Trust
Department of Agriculture Research and Extension (AREX) (Zimbabwe)
Save the Children
Farmer Associations for Chiefs and Headman Investment Groups (FACHIG)
Sustaining Agricultural Biodiversity and the integrity and free flow of Genetic Resources for
Food for Agriculture
Organising Seed Fairs in Emergency Situations ICRISAT / INDA
Case Study 5: Kenya Seed Fairs as a Drought Recovery Strategy in Kenya
Victor A. Orindi & Andrew Ochieng* IDS Bulletin Vol 36 No 4 October 2005
*The authors wish to thank Dr Paul Omanga of CRS/Kenya and Mr Eric Kisiangani of ITDG –EA
(now Practical Action East Africa) who provided their time and shared their knowledge and
perspectives on seed fairs in Kenya.
Seed Vouchers and Fairs: A Manual for Seed Based Agricultural Recovery after Disaster in
Africa; Kenya. CRS; ICRISAT & ODI, 2002.
Do Seed Fairs Improve Food Security and Strengthen Rural Markets? ICRISAT