One of the key activities of ISSD programme focuses on advancing Early Generation Seed (EGS) production contractual agreements to ensure the availability and affordability of EGS from research and seed producers. Accordingly, ISSD Amhara unit held a two-day meeting, to evaluate and learn from its 2018 EGS agreement performance, and review and approve 2019 plan.

The first day was attended by 15 core group and seed unit members and high officials and assigned by the Ministry. The Regional Bureau of Agriculture presented the achievements and challenges encountered in 2018 crop season. Overall, EGS production of hybrid maize, teff and to some extent wheat crops shows promising results, while malt barley, sorghum and faba bean EGS production remains challenging.

It was noted that in spite of the contractual agreement and regular discussion among core group and seed unit members, there were unwillingness observed by some seed producers to supply EGS agreed upon. The need to put in place mechanisms to enforce the agreement was highlighted repeatedly.

The second day was devoted for reviewing, approving and singing of 2019 contractual agreement. The discussion focused on the role of the core group and seed unit to cascade next year plan, members responsibilities, and how to address shortage of land and breeder seed.  A total of 50 participants from regulatory authority, ATA, public seed enterprises, private seed producers, research institutions, unions, BOA and ISSD staffs attended the planning and signing session.

Overall, the participants appreciated the role ISSD plays in bringing key stakeholders together to conduct demand assessments, planning and signing of agreements between seed producers and buyers.

Contributed by Wonzie Asmare, Knowledge Sharing and Communication Expert – BENEFIT-ISSD Ethiopia – Amhara Unit 

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