The Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa (AVISA) project consolidates the gains made by TL-III, HOPE-II, and HarvestPlus -- all funded by the BMGF. This project was launched in February 2019 to work on the broad agenda of modernizing breeding and increasing incomes for smallholders in seven countries of Africa. The focus geographies where these crops are important (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda) and the crops comprise the most important dryland cereals (sorghum and pearl millet) and legume crops (groundnut, common bean and cowpea). While refocusing the work to improve the CGIAR and key NARS breeding and seed delivery systems, ICRISAT has started to improve the performance of its sorghum, pearl millet, and groundnut breeding programs, while IITA and CIAT are also improving their cowpea and common bean programs, respectively. All these programs will adopt modern best practices with respect to breeding program management, organization, and technology to generate a continuous stream of improved varieties for smallholders to achieve greater yields and the prospect of higher incomes and improved livelihoods. In addition, the increase in varietal turnover can mitigate losses from evolving climate patterns, and pest and disease complexes, while driving to enable public-private partnerships for enhanced seed delivery. High functioning, integrated CGIAR/NARS breeding networks and coordinated seed delivery partnerships have been built to facilitate smallholder farmers’ access to high-quality seed.
To achieve this laudable project, through an increased and equitable rate of varietal turnover, SFSA, an experienced partner is playing a key role in developing a ‘go-to-market strategy’ and public-private seed opportunities. Women seed entrepreneurs and women-led seed companies will garner special attention for capacity development in the seed business and technical areas as well as focusing on enhanced inter-personal communication and marketing skills, for facilitating greater demand. By the end of the project cycle, we aspire to see national institutions equipped with the technical capacity to fulfill their responsibilities with respect to ensuring all classes of EGS supplies are available in amounts consistent with demand and take on the responsibility of ensuring adequate EGS supplies of these crops (cowpea and sorghum) in Nigeria. We believe these systems changes will accelerate the trajectory of adoption and delivery of modern varieties of these crops and significantly reduce recycling of the mentioned varieties’
Below is our achievement so far under this project:
A Baseline assessment was conducted among thirteen (13) seed companies across Nigeria to understand their gaps, strength, and weakness.
We sensitized Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) on the role of SFSA in AVISA project
Stakeholders in the seed value chain were organized in Zaria and Kano State for varietal selection and to sensitize seed companies and small seed producers
The selected varieties of sorghum and cowpea were distributed to 10 Seed companies for marketing/ demo trials - All were supported by SFSA
Joined the monitoring and evaluation team to assess the fieldwork being carried out under the AVISA Project
Supported the farmer's field days for cowpea organized by IITA in collaboration with UAM and KNARDA
Carried out Technical Assessment for two Seed companies in Nigeria and one in Ghana- under SIP
Supported ICRISAT to organize a CG meeting to further understanding of TPP and market segmentation in Nigeria
Currently carrying out a value chain study for sorghum and cowpea to understand the market segmentation and dynamics in Kano, Niger, Kwara, Kaduna, Gombe, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt
Seed for Impact Project (SIP)
Two seed companies (Value Seed and Da-Allgreen Seeds Ltd) came out successful out of several other companies that applied in Nigeria. SFSA and AECF team have conducted Technical assessment for Da-Agreen Seeds Ltd at the time of filing this report. More info will follow soon.
Since 2017, TechnoServe is partnering with SFSA and Rockefeller Foundation to scale up YieldWise Project to reach and increase revenue for 35,000 smallholder farmers across Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa and Plateau States by addressing the root causes of high post-harvest loss (PHL) rates and low yields. At the time of filing this report over 30,969 farmers have received training on GAP and post-harvest losses and management practices.