BENEFIT-ISSD co-organized high level international multi-stakeholders workshop on seed system development

An international multi-stakeholders workshop on enabling and scaling genetic improvements and propagation materials, was held at IRLI Addis Ababa campus,  Ethiopia on Friday 17, 2019. The workshop gathered around 80 local and international experts to explore how to tackle major bottlenecks in the functioning of seed systems for smallholder farmers. The workshop was relevant to deepen the understanding of the  seed sector complexities, what has worked in practice, create synergy and over all strengthen collaboration among major stakeholders.

The objective of the workshop was to create interest among key international and regional agrifood sector actors and investors to collaborate in further enabling and scaling genetic improvement and propagation materials (seeds). The participants looked at challenges in current seed system and how to jointly identify solutions to tackle these challenges at systematic level.

The opening remarks were given by Andre Zandstra (CGIAR, Director Funder and External Engagement), Robert Bertram (USAID, Team Leader, International Research and Biotechnology) and H.E. Dr. Ms. Aynalem Nigussie (Ethiopia, State Minister for Agricultural Inputs and Marketing). That was followed by three presentations on

  • A value chain of innovation towards delivery. How to tackle the challenges for seed system change. By Philippe Ellul (CGIAR, Senior Officer)
  • The practice of current seed value chains towards delivery. The role of public-private partnerships. By Ian Barker (Syngenta Foundation. Head Agricultural Partnerships)
  • Ethiopia’s Seed Sector Transformation. By Mohammed Hassena – Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD)-Ethiopia, Deputy Manager

The next two sessions focused on SSD-Research projects and a panel debate on “Institutional arrangements for realizing the potential of improved varieties”.  In the afternoon, the participants visited Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center (DZARC) and Amuari High Yield Varieties and Agricultural Product PLC, organized by BENEFIT-ISSD Ethiopia. The participants met with DZARC Director who introduced the role of the Center in seed production and with pulse improvement team leader who explained the limited interest of private businesses in seeds of pulse crops and how the Center is working with seed producer cooperatives and private companies to increase the production of pulse seed. They also visited the DZARC laboratory and a private company that works closely with DZARC and is successful in producing non-hybrid crops.


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