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Elementa-Science of the Anthropocene ; 11(1), 2023.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2327458


Accessible, high-quality seed is vital to the agricultural, food, and nutrition sovereignty needed for justice-based sustainable development. Multiregion, interdisciplinary research on farmers' seed systems (FSS) can complement case-based and thematic approaches.This study's goals are to (1) provide a synthetic overview of current major FSS concepts;(2) design and evaluate a novel social- and political-ecological model of FSS using globally representative data from mountain agricultural areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America;(3) model and evaluate FSS relations to socioeconomic, political, and environmental factors including main food crops (rice, wheat, maize, potato, and common bean);(4) generate new spatial, geographic, and demographic estimates;and (5) strengthen FSS for justice-based sustainable development of agriculture, land use, and food systems. The conceptual framework of FSS-related factors guided the global modeling of data from 11 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. A multiple regression model explained FSS utilization (R2 1/4 0.53, P < 0.0001), specifying the significant inverse relations to mean farm area (strong), per-capita Gross Domestic Product at the district level (strong), and urban distance (moderate). FSS showed strong positive relations to aridity and topographic ruggedness. FSS were positively related to elevation in a 5-country Andean subsample. Results estimated FSS utilization by 136 million farmers within the 11 countries. Novel insights to strengthen FSS policies and programs are the importance of FSS to extremely small farm-area subgroups and other distinct FSS stakeholders, global-region geopolitical distinctness of FSS-farm area relations, multidistrict FSS concentrations that enable extralocal FSS spatial connectivity, FSS capacities in climate-change hot spots, and high FSS encompassing periurban areas. Policy-relevant results on global geographic and demographic extensiveness of FSS and key spatial, socioeconomic, political, and environment relations demonstrate that globally FSS are key to supporting agrobiodiversity, agroecology, nutrition, and the sustainability of food systems. These advise strengthening FSS through pro-poor and linked urban-rural policies at regional scales in addition to expanding local initiatives.