Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, June 21, 2021

Virtual event: Integrated Seed Sector Development

21-23 June 2021
by ISSD Africa (Integrated Seed Sector Development).

With the UN Food Systems Summit approaching, the conference gave a timely space to help organisations working on seed sector transformation in Africa to jointly explore the contribution of our collective efforts to critical food system outcomes.

The conference has the ambition to strengthen the many exciting upcoming initiatives that partners are collaborating on extensively:

  • The African Union Commission and partners are launching the African Seed and Biotechnology Partnership Platform (ASB PP). The ASB PP provides for a number of working groups enabling collaboration on key topics with a wide array of stakeholders. 
  • Additional initiatives on the horizon and aligned with the conference objectives include the emerging CGIAR Community of Excellence on Seed Systems Development, the Collaborative Seed Programme (CSP) in Nigeria, the Accelerating Agriculture and Agribusiness in South Sudan for Enhanced Economic Development (A3-SEED) and the programme on Integrated Seed Sector Development in the Sahel (ISSD Sahel) in Mali and Niger.
Download the conference programme
This important moment was held as a pre-event to the upcoming Conference on Guiding Seed Sector Transformation in Africa. The Programme on Integrated Seed Sector Development in Ethiopia – ISSD Ethiopia – has finally come to an end, a decade after its inception. We seize this moment to reflect on some of the country’s major breakthroughs during that time.

Watch the recording of the event here


Watch the documentary on Guiding Seed Sector Transformation in Ethiopia

Extracts of the programme 

21/06 Opening session

The opening session concluded with a discussion on approaches contributing to continental seed sector development, with motivating propositions from the invited panel. The panel included Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa, Director, Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, African Union Commission.

21/06 An integrated framework placing the seed sector within food system transformation

Panelists shared experiences in ISSD Ethiopia, ISSD Uganda, ISSD Africa and CSP Nigeria and place these within the larger food system framework.

21/06 Policy recommendations on cost-effective, novel quality assurance mechanisms.

This discussion session, explored emerging insights from research and discussed viewpoints on how to promote these novel applications more widely used.

21/06 Early Generation Seed (EGS) business models from the ISSD Africa programme

Panelists shared experiences examples from ISSD Uganda

21/06 Impact and scalability of local seed business models in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Uganda

This session examined the impact and scalability of local seed business models for the better-half of the last decade in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Uganda, and discussing policy options for sustainably increasing the availability of locally-adapted and preferred varieties of important field crops.

22/06 Experiences of two globally leading companies in the vegetable sector in encouraging farmers continuous interest in new varieties

10:00 CEST. Varietal replacement is an important topic in the field of seed sector development; it is relevant to private sector players, e.g. vegetables, ensure that their investments in R&D become available to farmers in the form of quality seed of new varieties.

22/06  A planning and forecasting tool to improve the matching of seed supply and demand.

14:00 CEST. In this session Johnathan Steinke, presented a tool developed by The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT together with SeedCo, Ltd. (Zimbabwe) which proposes a simple procedure, supported by an MS excel workbook, that lets seed suppliers improve planning through two steps: (1) Correlate past seed demand with past climate, (2) anticipate next-season’s seed demand trends based on forecasted seasonal climate.

22/06 Key insights from the case of ISSD Ethiopia in developing collaborative governance at the regional level in Ethiopia.

14:00 CEST. This session identified properties and strategies of policy entrepreneurs to act as game changers in agricultural transformation processes

22/06 A tool to improve analysis and interventions in seed sectors in fragile states.

14:00 CEST. The Mercy Corps-led ISSD Africa Action Learning Topic, Developing the Seed Sector in Fragile States, aims to deepen understanding of seed systems challenges and opportunities in fragile states and identify practical seed interventions entry points for humanitarian agencies, donors and other stakeholders.

22/06 Critical lessons for wider African forage seed development

15:00 CEST. This session will present early findings and experiences from a project “Feed and Forage Seed Business Models to support further professionalization of the dairy sector in Kenya and Uganda” and link this to wider issues in the East African forage seed sector.

22/06 Experiences of using emerging info and financial tech to improve seed system inclusiveness

15:00 CEST. This session will have interactive discussion on supporting key players, ICT tools, and fintech for seed systems to reach farmers at the last mile, as well as the policy recommendations needed to ensure such support.
16:00 CEST. CGIAR is currently in a dynamic process of reformulation in relation to its partnerships, knowledge, assets, and global presence with the aim of having its scientific innovations deployed faster, at a larger scale, and at reduced cost, achieving greater impact where it is needed most.

23/06 A protocol for collaboration with national genebanks

10:00 CEST. cases from Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe: experiences that fed the development of the Protocol, what the Protocol contains and the benefits of its application.

23/06 Transformation innovation from a decade of ISSD Uganda

11:00 CEST. 

23/06. Modalities to support to national regulatory bodies to implement sensible regulations

12:00 CEST. The diversity of seed sectors across Africa ensures there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ regulatory approach. Many governments and development partners are investing in the development of systems to regulate the seed sector and provide the certainty, protection and encouragement needed to stimulate and support seed business.

Panellists will discuss how national and international partners can contribute effectively to the evolution of sensible regulatory approaches that are sensitive to public and private realities, while encouraging a shift in roles and perceptions.

23/06 Support service to guide strategic investments in Africa’s seed markets.

10:00 CEST.  This panel presents a panel of different investors what recommendations and partnerships they need for being decisive and confident in their investments Africa’s seed markets.

23/06. La demande de semences au Burundi

12:00 CEST. Synthèse des recommandations clés favorisant la création de la demande de semences au Burundi est un élément essentiel de l’approche de l’ISSD.
  • Le projet PSSD Burundi est dans sa troisième année de mise en œuvre tandis que le projet ISSD Sahel est en phase de démarrage. Cette session relie l’ISSD Sahel à son projet frère au Burundi.
  • La session fournira des recommandations pour le projet ISSD Sahel, facilitera les leçons apprises et créera des liens pour un échange continu, un mentorat et un apprentissage croisé.


8AM EASTERN | 3PM EAST AFRICA. In this day-long rally AFSA will honor African seed, celebrate the work of farmers across Africa, learn about farmer-managed seed systems, and unite against corporate attempts to control seed.

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