The harvest is in the seed

There are numerous quality information materials about seed sector sustainable development available out there. This wealth of knowledge addresses the entire array of the seed value chain. It can be used to strengthen the capacity along all steps of the seed value chain, for a more coordinated and effective seed sector development.

Every week, we highlight a specific initiative that is working towards strengthening knowledge about the seed sector in Africa via the publication of training material, guidelines, policy briefs, frameworks, datasets, videos, etc. The improved visibility of these initiatives will contribute to increase seed security, thus boosting the foundation of food security and livelihoods of Africa.

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26 May 2023
© CGIAR / CIP / ISSD Africa

Week 101 – Research report: Inventory of novel approaches to seed quality assurance mechanisms for vegetatively propagated crops (VPCs) in seven African countries

Authors: Sulle, E.; Pointer, R.; Kumar, L.; McEwan, M. 2022
Keywords: quality assurance; vegetative propagated material; innovation

This paper provides an inventory of novel approaches to and mechanisms for quality assurance of the seeds of vegetatively produced crops (VPCs). It explores to what extent seven African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) are decentralising and integrating VPC seed systems, in terms of regulations governing the sector, methods of seed production, and methods of seed inspection and certification. It consolidates existing data and presents new data on decentralised seed quality assurance (SQA) approaches for VPCs in these seven selected countries. It makes relevant information readily available for policy dialogue on appropriate and inclusive SQA approaches, by providing an assessment of (i) the extent to which SQA has been decentralised, i.e., the extent to which third-party accredited inspectors have been deployed; (ii) countries’ use of e-certification platforms; (iii) the involvement of seed producer groups and cooperatives in SQA; and (iv) any novel approaches to disease diagnostics or other relevant aspects of SQA.

© CGIAR / CIP / ISSD Africa

Click on the following links to access the content:

19 May 2023

Week 100 – Research report: Policies, laws, and regulations in support of farmer-managed seed systems: still a long way to go. A review of 14 countries in Africa

Authors: Vernooy, R.; Adokorach, J.; Kimani, D.; Marwa, A.; Mayoyo, A.; Nyadanu, D., 2023
Keywords: enabling environment, legislation, farmer-managed seed systems

The main finding of this review report of seed (related) policies and laws in 14 African countries is that, although in most countries there is some form of acknowledgment that farmer-managed seed systems exist, there are not many positive results related to recognition of and concrete support for farmer-managed seed systems (policy, legal, technical, operational, and financial support).


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12 May 2023
© esipreprints

Week 99 – Research paper: Seed Coating of Maize with Trichoderma harzianuma Improves Emergence and Plant Growth in Burkina Faso

Authors: Dabiré Tobdem Gaston, Sanou Amadou, Bonzi Schemaéza, Somda Irénée, 2023
Keywords: seeds; maize; fungi

“Many species of molds infect maize grains produced in Burkina Faso. The presence of these fungi on the grains leads to damping off, retardation of plant growth and the production of mycotoxins such as aflatoxins, the consumption of which is dangerous for human and animal health. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the behavior of maize seeds coated with the conidia of a local strain of Trichoderma harzianum that showed antifungal and growth promoting properties on onion. Six seed lots of six maize varieties were thus collected and analyzed to identify the mold species present. The three main species identified were then confronted in vitro with T. harzianum to assess the antagonism.” […]

© esipreprints

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05 May 2023

Week 98 – Manual: Catalogue of Plant Varieties ECOWAS-UEMOA-CILSS – FAO

Keywords: regional development; references; seeds; Plant Varieties

The ECOWAS-UEMOA-CILSS Regional Catalogue of Plant Species and Varieties is a major instrument of the harmonized seed regulation. It is expected to be updated annually and edited every two years. The regional catalogue is updated using information from the revised national catalogues of the States in the ECOWAS-UEMOA-CILSS region. Indeed, the harmonized seed regulation provides in its articles 9 for Regulation C/REG.4/05/2008/ECOWAS and 80 for Regulation N°03/2009/CM/UEMOA, that the Regional Catalogue is “the official document which contains the list of all the plant varieties approved in the Member States”. […]

Click on the following links to access the content:
Catalogue 2008:
Catalogue 2016:
Catalogue 2021:

26 Apr 2023
© Wageningen University ; aidenvironment

Week 97 – Guidelines: Guiding sector transformation: the case of integrated seed sector development in Ethiopia

Authors: Gareth Borman, Mohammed Hassena, Karèn Verhoosel and Jan Willem Molenaar
Keywords: integrated development; guidance; quality seeds

Embrace systemic change, manage not only adaptively but inclusively, and invest in social capital. These are the lessons learned in guiding sector transformation through the programme Integrated Seed Sector Development in Ethiopia (ISSD Ethiopia) over the past decade. This case study takes as its starting point the pinnacle of the programme’s efforts, a little less than two years ago. Looking specifically at the achievements of a new seed policy, and a stakeholder-owned strategic document, entitled ‘Transforming the Ethiopian seed sector: issues and strategies’, we describe the effectiveness of the methods applied by ISSD Ethiopia, their grounding in theory, and the relevance of these three lessons for practitioners and policy-makers looking to achieve similar results. […]

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© Wageningen University ; aidenvironment

19 Apr 2023
© Frontiers Media S.A

Week 96 – Guidelines: Africa’s “Seed” Revolution and Value Chain Constraints to Early Generation Seeds Commercialization and Adoption in Ghana

Authors: Philip Tetteh Quarshie, Abdul-Rahim Abdulai and Evan D. G. Fraser
Keywords: guidance; quality seeds; early generation seeds; Ghana

The study aims to deepen understanding of how Early Generation Seeds value chain constraints impede commercialization and adoption of High Yielding Varieties (HYV) or improved Maize seeds by smallholders in Ghana within the broader strategies of a “Green Revolution for Africa”. […]

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© Frontiers Media S.A

12 Apr 2023

Week 95 – Guidelines: Early Generation Seeds Investment Plan Guide

Authors: USAID, AfricaLead, 2016
Keywords: guidance; quality seeds; early generation seeds

This EGS Investment Plan Guide document was developed as a resource to provide practical assistance to in-country stakeholders who want to present a case, and provide specific language and budget proposals, for greater government funding of those EGS functions that are likely to be funded only by the public sector. In Africa, the vehicle to make that case and seek that funding at the country level is through the five-year Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program/African Union (CAADP/AU) sanctioned NAFSIP, as well as a new instrument under development, the CAAPD country spending plan. The purpose of this guide is to assist stakeholders make a case for, and provide specific documentation and elements for inclusion in, a NAFSIP line item or component to support appropriate public-sector EGS functions.


04 Apr 2023
© CDI Wageningen, ISSD Africa

Week 94 – Guidelines: Business models for early generation seed production and marketing

Authors: Hellen Opie, Essegbemon Akpo, Haile Desmae, Patrick Okori, Jane Ininda, Chris O. Ojiewo, 2022
Keywords: integrated development; guidance; quality seeds; early generation seeds

Sustainable access to early generation seed (EGS) is important for efficient supply of quality certified, standard and/or quality declared seed of improved high-performing crop varieties. Some studies have been conducted from a global perspective on the delivery of EGS with a major focus on the economic analysis and identification of effective pathways for sustainable supply.READ MORE

28 Mar 2023
© CDI Wageningen, NFP, SeedNL

Week 93 – Guidelines: Guide for designing a national seed road map

Authors: De Boef, W.S. & M.H. Thijssen; 2023
Keywords: sustainable development; guidance; seed production

This guide brings together and structures diverse methods and tools for implementing a seed sector assessment (SSA) and designing a national seed road map (NSRM). A seed sector assessment (SSA) provides the answer to the primary seed sector performance question: Where are we now? A national seed road map (NSRM) addresses two additional questions: Where do we want to go, and how will we get there?READ MORE

21 Mar 2023
© CDI Wageningen, KIT, IFDC

Week 92 – Guidelines: Promoting sustainable development of the seed sector

Authors: CDI Wageningen, KIT, IFDC; 2015
Keywords: sustainable development; resilience; seed production

The CATALIST 2 project referred to in this publication “aimed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and promote regional trade in Burundi, North and South Kivu in the DRC and Rwanda. Strengthening the availability and use of quality seeds is therefore an integral part of the project.READ MORE