At the end of September 2017, SFSA signed a Global Development Alliance with USAID to implement the Seeds2B Connect model in five countries in Sub Saharan Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Senegal and Uganda)
A potato seed multiplier in Kenya paying the national program (KALRO) royalties for potato seeds sales from three KALRO-bred varieties. SFSA brokered this licensing deal in 2016.
As part of our India-Africa technology transfer initiative, Seeds2B facilitated a deal between a family-owned small Indian seed company and a Senegalese distributor for cabbage seeds. This order is estimated to benefit 1’600 farmers (on 333 hectares) in Senegal.
The first-ever potato seed import without government subsidies was between an Irish seed company and a farmer’s cooperative in Senegal, facilitated by SFSA’s Seeds2B programme.
SFSA has trained 15’000 farmers in safe seed treatment and safe use of treated seeds in a USAID-AGRA SSTP funded project.
Here's news of a 2017 milestone for potatoes in Kenya.
A recent blog post by CIAT illustrates successful changes in beans. Find news story in this.
HZPC registered three varieties of potato in Kenya, with the help of the Seeds2B team
Seeds2B helped a seed company achieve COMESA (regional) registrations for three varieties.
Seeds2B staff helped write an October 2016 article in Agriculture. This examines "Determinants of the Use of Certified Seed Potato among Smallholder Farmers: The Case of Potato Growers in Central and Eastern Kenya". Distance to market, household food insecurity and asset endowment are the most important.
First soybean trial report, 2016Soybeancould be an ideal crop for African smallholders. So far, few of them have benefited. Yields remain very low. The main reason is a lack of good tropical varieties. With partners, we're testing for better ones. The first trial report shows some promising candidates. Here's a background interview with a member of our Kenyan team.
Kisima Farm won the 2nd Runner-up Award at the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) Conference in Lusaka. Kisima Farm has invested in potato seed as a business. As a result, already over 12,000 more Kenyan smallholders have access to quality seed. A CIP/Syngenta Foundation study shows the benefits. The seed improves yields so much that the smallholder buyers have earned about an extra six million dollars. The Syngenta Foundation has been a partner of Kisima (pictured) since 2009. We are a co-investor with AECF, and also provide technical consulting on agronomy and in-licensing of new varieties. "The Kisima story is a good example of the private sector applying its skills and capacity to get seed of public-bred varieties, in this case from CIP and KALRO, to farmers at scale", says the Syngenta Foundation's Ian Barker.
On the topic of catalogues... Congratulations to the National Potato Council of Kenya. Together with partners at KEPHIS and KALRO, the NPCK recently launched a new potato variety catalogue. In the USA, state potato seed catalogues are a tried and tested means of linking buyers and sellers. The new Kenyan seed catalogue describes available registered potato varieties, public and private. For the first time, it also includes the contact details of registered potato seed suppliers. "This list should help build the market for potato seed, as well as addressing the chronic lack of certified seed available to Kenyan potato farmers", comments the Syngenta Foundation's Ian Barker. "We supported the evolution of this catalogue through its first edition in 2013 to the new expanded 2015 version." Advertisements from a range of Kenyan input suppliers help defray the cost of production.
Rice seeds production guide In 2013, Seeds2B specialists trained members of a smallholder seeds co-operative in Côte d’Ivoire on certified rice seed production of OPV varieties. Africa Rice supplied the foundation seed. The successful training resulted in achieving 5.5 t/ha, which yielded 5t/ha of quality seed after cleaning. The training was repeated for OPV rice seed producers in Rwanda in 2014. We subsequently developed a training manual in collaboration with IFDC and Wageningen UR. The manual iscurrently being translated into English and will be used to train smallholders in Myanmar. Voici notre guide de formation "Production de semences de riz" (2015). Ce manuel est prévu pour les agents chargés de former des producteurs. Parmi les auteurs: Camille Renou, collaborateur de notre Fondation.
Watch a Kenyan film about a soybean field day for smallholders and other participants.
Following a successful pilot phase in East and West Africa, SFSA and AATF (African Agricultural Technology Foundation) are jointly scaling up this Seeds2B initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa. We aim to get improved seed to an additional 250,000 smallholder farmers from investments made between 2014 and 2016, and estimate that this will generate an additional $200 million in revenue for these growers. Here are the media release and a Kenyan newspaper report.
In November 2014, Kenya's Nation newspaper featured Seeds2B and some of the farmers benefiting.
The International Potato Center has investigated the impact of Seeds2B in greater detail (interim report 2014).