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The impact of HIV/AIDS on farmers' knowledge of seed: case study of Chokwe District, Gaza Province, Mozambique

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

Research Team:
Principal Scientist: Dr. Rachel Waterhouse
Research Assistants: Eng. Milly Devji, D’bora Adelaida Xavier Arгo de Carvalho, Cerejeira dos Santos Pedro Tinga

Seed Systems Global Theme Leader: Dr. Richard Jones
Mozambique Country Representative: Dr. Carlos Dominguez

January 2004

SARPN acknowledges permission from the FAO to post this analysis on our website.
Users should note that this report will soon be published as an official FAO-ICRISAT document.
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HIV/AIDS has a negative impact on all the key factors that facilitate access to local and new knowledge around seed and seed management, including local capacity for seed conservation, access to labor and land. Women, the principal keepers of this knowledge are particularly vulnerable to these impacts. Based on fieldwork carried out in Chуkwи District of Gaza Province, southern Mozambique, this study reveals that female-headed households have a significantly smaller area of cultivated land, plant fewer crops and have access to less family labor. These factors all relate to seed security, suggesting that female-headed households are less seed secure than maleheaded households. However, it is difficult to determine whether this is caused by poverty (femaleheaded households are likely to be poorer than male-headed households) or the impact of HIV/AIDS. Statistical analysis of the data collected suggests that HIV/AIDS affected households, especially those households caring for orphans, experienced constraints in access to seed and seed information. These issues should be addressed urgently before the erosion of local knowledge undermines seed security and thereby food security. New agricultural projects, especially those relating to seed, should be formulated to target and relieve some of the farm level constraints faced by HIV/AIDS affected households, especially those households caring for orphans and femaleheaded households.

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