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.

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

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

15 Mar 2023

Week 91: Research Paper: Farmer-Led Seed Production: Community Seed Banks Enter the National Seed Market

Authors: Ronnie Vernooy, Jai Rana, Gloria Otieno, Hilton Mbozi and Pitambar Shrestha
Topics: Community Seed Banks, Marketing; Farmers’ seed systems

Abstract: Smallholder farmers around the world obtain their seed from various sources, which can vary over time. In some countries, smallholder farmers are gaining ground as local seed producers and sellers. This study focuses on the seed production and marketing operations, achievements, and challenges of a particular type of such producers—community seed banks—which are new players in the seed market. (…)

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