Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, August 24, 2020

Strategic Framework for Grain Legume and Dryland Cereals Seed Systems

21 August 2020. Seed Systems Strategy for Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals is the result of a very wide consultative process. 

The content is from outputs from different actors’ meetings, participation by and interactions between public, private sectors and development partners, i.e. scientists, managers, policy makers, NGOs, and farmer organizations who came up with different action points. Buy-ins were encouraged to refine the content to best fit the user context and be shared as a work tool for seed systems actors. The strategy aims to:
  • Guide the design and implementation of seed systems interventions to systemically address bottlenecks in a concerted way with partners;
  • Trigger innovations and investments in GLDC through dynamic learning mechanisms across partners;
  • Converge key actors in GLDC to work around critical challenges for breakthroughs in seed systems;
  • Create synergies and partnerships for actions to move forward efficiently and effectively.
Though the focus of the strategy is primarily on sorghum, finger millet, pearl millet, groundnut,
chickpea, pigeonpea, lentil, cowpea and soybean,
it can also inspire improvement in delivery systems of rice, maize and wheat.

Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC) breeding programs have made substantial breakthroughs (see box) with hundreds of improved and high-yielding, pest- and drought-tolerant and nutrient-use-efficient varieties developed for different agroecological regions, yet it is observed that about 80% of smallholder farmers in developing countries rely on non-improved GLDC variety seed for planting. The book challenges this observation. 

It points to the fact that poorly organized seed systems and inefficient seed supply systems hinder large-scale use of improved variety of seeds. It underscores the main rationale for it, being that farmers use their own-saved seed, the bulkiness of seed of some GLDC crops (e.g., groundnut, chickpea), difficulty in storage and poor knowledge of GLDC’s comparative advantage (e.g., nutrients, production ecologies, etc.).

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