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Providing Services to Smallholders
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The normal practice in smallholder agriculture is for seed from one year's harvest to be retained for planting the following season. With export horticulture this is usually not feasible for several reasons:

  • use of pure certified seed is essential for obtaining the quality and uniformity of product which the market demands;
  • many export crops are grown from hybrid seeds, which must be renewed each season;
  • traceability of product can only be assured when the source of seed used is known and controlled by the company which purchases the farmers' crop.

It is therefore necessary that the company which contracts smallholders to grow a particular crop supplies them with certified seed ahead of the recommended planting date. Several issues require consideration:

Related Information: seed production and supply


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Natural Resources Institute 2003