The project goal is: To contribute towards improving the seed systems on which poor and small-scale farmers rely in sub-Saharan Africa.
Brief summary of the project
The project is a partnership with CABI Africa that is implemented in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. The initiative focuses on landraces and improved varieties of cereals, legumes and vegetables that smallholder farmers want to grow, either for consumption by their own households or for which there is a viable and growing market (either directly from consumers or from agribusinesses). Crops targeted are mostly open pollinated varieties (OPVs).
Work in Tanzania with seed systems of African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) has targeted both seed and produce value chains. Emphasis is on both increasing consumption and production of AIVs as well as strengthening value chains to deliver seed and produce. AIVs have high nutritive value and there is a high participation of women in the value chains.
The project seeks to promote AIVs and identify and address constraints and bottlenecks in the value chains. In Ethiopia, the project will pilot the potential for coffee cooperatives serving smallholder farmers to establish Local Seed Business (LSB). Currently many countries are developing policies that focus on highly regulated systems that make it difficult to integrate informal and formal sectors. Development activities on the ground will be used to collate evidence of the role of the farmer in seed systems and the complementarities of informal and formal systems to contribute to the policy debate.