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Making quality seed available at the right time, place and price
Enhancing smallholder access to a wide range of affordable quality seed of high-performing and locally appropriate improved crop varieties is critical if farmers are to improve their productivity and reduce their vulnerability in the face of the challenges that inhibit increased agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa including new pests and diseases, climate change and natural resource limitations. Smallholder farmers often struggle to access cutting-edge seed varieties partly because seed companies in the region are hindered by market inefficiencies and are themselves unable to access new varieties and technologies.
The commercial seed market in SSA (excluding South Africa) is estimated to be worth USD 400 million, which accounts for only 10 percent of the total seed planted by farmers meaning a majority of farmers still rely on the informal market for their seed. As the need for higher yields and efficiency in food production rises in the region, demand for improved seed in SSA is expected to rise to $1.6 billion over the next 10 years.
AATF’s Seeds to Business Project (Seeds2B) works towards improving the performance of SSA’s formal seed sector through linking public and private breeders with seed enterprises to facilitate market entry and expand product portfolios. The Seeds2B initiative applies a systematic market-led methodology to transfer seed technologies from research programmes to seed enterprises for rapid and improved commercialization. This is achieved through a process of technology scouting, analysis and product registration.
Being a collaborative effort between AATF and Syngenta Foundation, the Seeds2B Project targets a variety of crops, including soybean, pigeon peas, beans, cowpea, groundnut, sorghum, pearl millet and tomato. The ultimate goal of the Seeds2B Project is to contribute towards building the capacity of commercial seed sector and enhancing food security in SSA. Access to improved and affordable seeds will increase the productivity of smallholder farmers and reduce their vulnerability to climate change
PASTTA is an alliance between USAID Feed the Future, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, New Markets Lab and AATF, while GATE is a collaboration between AATF, SVN and West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) to evaluate the performance of improved vegetable varieties.
“It is from a small seed that the giant iroko tree has its origin” – African proverb
The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture supports the Seeds2B project.
Number of improved varieties that the Project has accessed and evaluated so far for possible release…
Number of new varieties released and being commercialized in Uganda through the Project
Number of farmers who have adopted newly released varieties since November 2019.
Million USD - Estimated worth of commercial seed market in SSA, excluding South Africa