Author: AGRA, Syngenta and CGIAR, 2021
Topics: Marketing, breeding, commercial seed varieties

Commercial seed delivery for smallholder farmers in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa has been limited to few crops and varietal turnover has been slow. Publicly funded breeding needs to engage with seed systems in order to deliver greater genetic gain in farmers’ fields via varietal replacement.

This White Paper was commissioned by funders of the Crops to End Hunger (CtEH) initiative in the context of the ongoing One CGIAR reform to identify approaches and make recommendations that will both diversify the range of public-bred crop varieties available to smallholder farmers and increase varietal turnover through commercial channels.

An expert consultation identified 14 bottlenecks to commercial seed delivery. These can be broadly classified into policy and regulatory barriers hindering variety release, insufficient understanding of target markets, lack of technical and business capacity of small and medium seed enterprises (SMEs), and the need to better define roles and responsibilities between One CGIAR, National Breeding Programs and commercial seed companies in a changing landscape.

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