Integrated Seed Sector Development

  • 20th September 2016
  • by secretary

19-20 September 2016. Nairobi. The Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa (ISSD Africa) project, in collaboration with partners such as the Centre for Development innovation (CDI) of the Netherlands-based Wageningen University and Research and Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development of Egerton University, Kenya, brought together seed experts from around the continent, government agencies, as well as donors and development partners.

This conference presented the synthesised findings of two years of action research across ten countries. Almost 100 participants from a wide array of African and global organisations came together to learn about the activities and findings of the ISSD Africa programme and collaboratively set the agenda for future ISSD work at the continental level. Sessions focused on lessons learned and entry points for future work and linkages and be based on the four prescribed themes of ISSD Africa. Read more on these themes here
The conference created a platform to share the outcomes of a two-year piloting phase, alongside the discussions on how to translate these findings into change agendas. ISSD Africa project’s goal is to support the development of a market-oriented, pluralistic, vibrant and dynamic seed sector in Africa that provides both female and male smallholder farmers access to quality seed of superior varieties.

“The lack of quality affects agricultural productivity, income resilience and livelihoods of

smallholders. Smallholder farmers face challenges in getting reliable access to sufficient quantities of quality seed of superior varieties and that impacts negatively on their productivity, earnings and livelihoods” Miltone Ayieko, regional coordinator for the Kenya-based  project

“Africa requires seed entrepreneurship that responds to demands by farmers, agro-dealers, service providers and others in the seed value chain. Entrepreneurship and market-orientation are important incentives for sustainable development” Marja Thijssen, the ISSD Africa Project Coordinator based at the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) -Wageningen UR

Integrated Seed Sector Development
In partnership with Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), KIT is involved in country-specific Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Tanzania and Mozambique, as well as in cross-border programmes under the auspices of the African Union.

programmes in

The Pilot Phase of ISSD Africa is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands. Executive Coordination is in the hands of a consortium comprised of an African-based Secretariat in close collaboration with the Centre of Development Innovation (CDI) of Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR), the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the Future Agricultures Consortium, (see Programme Structure figure hereunder). Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development in Nairobi Kenya (the policy research institute of Egerton University), hosts the African-based Secretariat. 

The two-year piloting phase began in September 2014 with the following four priorities:
access to varieties in the public domain:

  1. common challenges in promoting entrepreneurship in seed value chains
  2. matching global commitments with national realities, and
  3. supporting the missions of the Africa Union Commission (AUC), Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Africa Seed and Biotechnology Programme (ASBP) and 
  4. development of the seed sector.