A Brief on ISSD Africa Programme:
The Integrated Seed Sector Development Africa (ISSD Africa) is a program developed and run by Centre for Development and Innovation (CDI Wageningen UR) in conjunction with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) and an African based secretariat at Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development in Nairobi, Kenya. The Piloting phase of ISSD Africa works on the establishment of an African-embedded structure and network of experts, seed programs and associated organizations in the public and private sectors. The aim is to work on complex challenges that are of strategic importance to the development of a market-oriented, pluralistic, vibrant and dynamic seed sector in Africa.
Purpose of the project
The goal of the project is to support the development of a market-oriented, pluralistic, vibrant and dynamic seed sector in Africa for providing both female and male smallholder farmers access to quality seed of superior varieties of both improved and local varieties most preferred by farmers. Currently, smallholder farmers face challenges in getting reliable access to sufficient quantities of quality seed of superior varieties at the right time and at an affordable price, which affects their agricultural productivity, income and resilience.
The project and the ISSD approach
The project is a Piloting Phase of 24 months contributing to the development of a five-year Comprehensive Program on Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa (ISSD Africa). The following set of ISSD guiding principles has been formulated to support the design of seed programs and policies:
- Foster pluralism and build programs upon a diversity of seed systems
- Work according to the structure of the seed value chain
- Promote entrepreneurship and market orientation
- Recognize the relevance of informal seed systems
- Facilitate interactions between informal and formal seed systems
- Recognize complementary roles of the public and private sector
- Support enabling and evolving policies for a dynamic sector
- Promote evidence based seed sector innovation
The ISSD approach is endorsed by the African Union Commission as contributing to the implementation of the African Seed and Biotechnology Program (ASBP) program and the seed agenda of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). The Piloting Phase of ISSD Africa will experiment with and explore ways to address four themes defined by complex challenges that hamper seed sector development at local or national levels, but by their specific nature need to be tackled at the continental level.
The priority themes selected are:
- Common challenges to promoting entrepreneurship in seed value chain
- Access to varieties in the public domain
- Matching global commitments with national realities
- Supporting the AUC CAADP, ASBP and seed sector development