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Parliamentary questions
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19 April 2018
E-000704/2018(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Stylianides on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-000704/2018

In full respect of the ‘do no harm’ principle, the EU's humanitarian food assistance safeguards the interests of beneficiaries in the selection of agricultural inputs to improve farmers’ access to good quality seeds and protect their livelihoods through distribution, seed vouchers and/or seed fairs as may be necessary. This allows farmers to resume agricultural production after emergencies, thereby strengthening their resilience and minimising their dependence on aid.

The selection of the most appropriate seed varieties is done in line with the Humanitarian Aid Guidelines for Procurement(1), as well as in conformity to international and national seed policies, guidelines, and standards(2).

Where possible, the EU strongly encourages the use of locally available seeds to maximise exchanges between farmers from the same agro-ecological zones to protect the local economy and biodiversity taking also into account beneficiaries' preferences. In specific cases, locally adapted, improved, selected high quality seed varieties can also be considered, for example drought resistant seeds in drought prone areas, based on careful technical assessment of the response options and their agro-ecological impacts, and in all cases in line with applicable rules and regulations.

(1)http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/partners/humanitarian_aid/Procurement_Guidelines_en.pdf
(2)http://www.fao.org/seeds/en/

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