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Workshop Seed Systems Development
Seed Systems Decelopment Workshop
Friday May 17, 2019 Image: APF
All day event


May 17, 2019


ILRI Campus
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia + Google Map

On Friday May 17, 2019, international seed sector stakeholders will gather to discuss seed sector transformation and innovative multi-stakeholder initiatives to address gaps in the sector, and learn from the case of Ethiopia. The high-level multi-stakeholder workshop about Enabling and Scaling Genetic Improvement and Propagation Materials is by invitation only. The workshop will also be attended by the nine SSD project research groups, which have their kick-off meeting from May 13 till 17 in Addis Ababa. It is organized by  the Government of the Netherlands, CGIAR System Organization, USAID and ISSD Africa, with facilitative support of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, NWO-WOTRO and AgriProFocus Ethiopia.


Getting improved seed and animal seed stock of good quality from breeders to smallholder and family farms in low- and middle income countries is challenging. Much good genetic material is available in particular public research institutes including the CGIAR institutes and National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), but due to limitations in the seed and animal seed stock value chains and the enabling environment, improved varieties and breeds are often not or not easily available or accessible for smallholder and family farms in low and middle income countries. Several studies underline the potential and the importance of the local private seed sector to solve this problem. Some of the major challenges in the ‘seed’ value chain are:

  • Seed value chains in LMICs are generally poorly developed.
  • Formal or at least quality declared seed value chains do not reach smallholder and family farms in remoter areas. Women and youth are often not targeted by actors in the seed value chain.
  • Public seed providers have wider crop portfolio’s but may not be strongly client driven, while private seed and animal seed stock enterprises are usually strongly client driven, but focus on marketing a more limited portfolio of ‘seeds’ that are the most profitable ones. Public-private partnerships that often bridge public R&D varietal releases to commercial seed entreprises, while prevalent in OECD countries, are mostly absent in LMICs.
  • The demands of farmers and intermediates in the seed value chain are not always similar to the demands of end users and policy makers (e.g. nutrition, climate, genetic diversity, biodiversity). • In many LMICs the enabling environment for seed value chains is not well developed, e.g. regarding intellectual property or quality control systems. The broader political-economic environment may also enhance or impede seed policies.
  • Lack of in-country/regional expertise on phytosanitary seed and animal seed stock health quality.


The programme of the workshop entails presentations and panel discussions in the morning, viewing of NL-CGIAR Strategic Partnership applied research posters by multi-stakeholder groups to address seed sector issues internationally, followed by a field visit to Ethiopian seed sector actors in Bishoftu.


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