The harvest is in the seed

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we at AfricaSeeds are conscious that seed delivery is crucial to ensure that farmers can plant their preferred varieties on time for the next season. During these unprecedented times, seed sector actors need to find new ways to carry out this essential service.

Some of us may have to work remotely, and need improved access to knowledge and information online, rather than face-to-face. Some other may need to acquire new skills. To respond to these needs, we are making information and knowledge about the seed system more readily available for all actors of the seed sector.

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.

Support capacity development in the seed sector by sharing these resources!

© IFAD
06 Apr, 2021 No Comments

Week 24 – Toolkit: Supporting smallholder seed systems

Author: International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Wafaa El Khoury, Robert Delve, 2018
Topics: farmers seed systems, seed sector development, capacity building

In most smallholder farming systems farmers save seed from the previous harvest to plant in the next season. They select seed from the best plants and then dry, clean and store the seed in a safe place. These traditional seed-saving practices and farmers’ sharing of seed are called the informal seed system, or the farmer/community-based seed system. They also add to their crop diversity with seed they obtain from social networks or purchase in local markets, from agro-dealers or seed companies.

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© SWISSAID
23 Mar, 2021 No Comments

Week 23 – Policy brief: Critical study of the legal framework and policy mechanisms on seeds in Niger

Author: SWISSAID, Alternative Citizen Spaces, 2017
Topics: farmers seeds systems, right to food, seed policy

In this document [in French], the complementary seed law 2014-067 of 05 November 2014 existing in Niger and its implication on small farmers has been objectively analysed, by identifying both the risks and the opportunities which could then serve as an entry point into the defence of local and peasant seeds.

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© The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
18 Mar, 2021 No Comments

Week 22 – Research Results: Rapid assessments of the impact of COVID-19 on the availability of quality seed to farmers: Advocating immediate practical, remedial and preventative action

Author: Elsevier, 2021: Walter S.de Boef, Gareth D.Bormana, ArnabGupta, AbishkarSubedi, Marja H.Thijssen, Amsalu Ayana Aga, Mohammed Hassena Beko, Swe Zin Myint Thein, Win Thein, Folarin Okelola, Osundiya Olusegun, Olusegun Philip Ojo, Chinedu Agbara, Geoffrey Otim, Charles Ssemwogerere, Bonny Ntare, Patrick Oyee
Topics: Seed security assessment, quality seeds, COVID-19

The use of Rapid Assessments that were inclusive and effective helped advocating immediate action.READ MORE

© African Union
14 Mar, 2021 No Comments

Week 21 – Policy Brief: White Paper on the COVID-19 Crisis and the Seed Sector in Africa: Impact, Options for Actions and Recommendations

Author: African Union, 2020
Topics: Access to seeds, COVID-19, African Union, Dialogue, Seed Sector, Africa

Last year over the course of one month, the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission engaged with non-state actors, academia, the private sector, research and development seed sector stakeholders including the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA), The African Seed Access Index (TASAI) as well as Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI).

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© Bioversity International
05 Mar, 2021 No Comments

Week 20 – Research results – Seed sector in Burkina Faso: Recommendations for a better integration of producers

Authors: Patrice Djamen, Souleymane Ouattara, Bioversity International, Swiss Cooperation, 2017
Topics: Farmers’ seed systems, participatory approach, partnership, subsidies, Burkina Faso

This document is part of the perspective of extending the momentum spurred by the project “Improving seed systems for smallholder farmers’ food security” implemented in Burkina Faso by Bioversity International and its local partners and funded by the Swiss Development and Cooperation Organization (SDC). This mission aimed to generate the knowledge needed to explore mechanisms that can better take into account the concerns of small producers in seed systems.

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Training toolkit
17 Feb, 2021 No Comments

Week 18 – Research results: Breaking through the 40% adoption ceiling: Mind the seed system gaps

Authors: Conny JM Almekinders, Jorge JL Andrade-Piedra, Erik Delaquis, Karen A Garrett, Lava Kumar, Sarah Mayanja, Bonaventure A Omondi, Srinivasulu Rajendran, Graham ThieleFirst
Topics: plant breeding, evidence-based decisions, partnership, varietal adoption

This perspective paper presents findings on the importance of better and more effective collaboration between seed system stakeholders, and in particular between breeders and national seed systems, to promote adoption of new and adapted varieties.

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© GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR THE FUTURE OF FOOD
09 Feb, 2021 No Comments

Week 17 – Training Material: Options for Stakeholder Engagement and Benefit Sharing in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems

Authors: Edith Lammerts van Bueren, Conny Almekinders, Eva Weltzien, Veronique Chable, Riccardo Bocci, Monika Messmer, Fred Rattunde, Claudius van de Vijver; Global Alliance for the Future of Food, CGIAR, Dynaversity and LIVESEED
Topics: plant breeding, resilience, participatory approaches, benefit sharing, partnership

Resilient seed systems play a central role in sustainable food systems that are robust, dynamic, equitable, diverse, healthy and interconnected. Developing and strengthening these systems offers vital entry points for responding to critical global challenges of climate change, agricultural biodiversity, and sustainable development.

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© Michigan State University
03 Feb, 2021 No Comments

Week 16 – Policy Brief: Seed Security Response to COVID-19: now and beyond

Authors: Louise Sperling, Niels Louwaars, Orlando de Ponti, Melinda Smale, Julie March, Dieudonne Baributsa and Jacob van Etten; Michigan State University
Topics: smallholder farmers, covid-19, emergency, seed system security assessment

COVID-19 brings new challenges worldwide, including to smallholder farmers and their seed systems. In response, an escalating number of seed projects are being planned to deliver immediate aid or to alter current seed production programs. This Brief aims to steer both the immediate aid and more developmental planning towards wiser, better and more informed practice – and to stop unproductive or even harmful decisions.

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© Michigan State University
27 Jan, 2021 No Comments

Week 15 – Research paper: Reflection on indicators of access of small producers to quality seeds

Authors: Yenizie Kone, Melinda Smale, Bokary Timbo; IER, Michigan State University, USAID
Topics: quality seeds, smallholder farmers, research, Mali, innovation, governance

This study is the result of a workshop on the identification of indicators of access by smallholder farmers to improved seeds. A total of 34 seed actors, including 4 women, participated in this workshop. The various participants and seed system experts were representatives from the government, research, seed companies, NGOs and farmers’ organizations.

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