This study analyses rice and finger millet seed systems in Nepal, particularly in Ghanpokhara (Lamjung) and compares them with the seed systems found in other parts of the country. It presents factors that influence seed availability and accessibility for rice and finger millet along the continuum of seed systems from formal to informal. Elements that may limit or facilitate smallholder farmers' access to quality seed which is adapted to their environmental and socio-economic conditions are highlighted. The preferences of farmers in in remote areas of Nepal are of particular interest, specially in relation to crop varieties, seed sources and seed quality. These and other elements emphasized in this study must be taken into consideration when defining public policy interventions aimed at extending the formal systems of seed production and commercialization to areas where production of and access to seed have always relied on informal mechanisms.