Afriseed: How improved legume seed can help transform Zambia’s agrifood systems

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In Zambia, smallholder farmers obtain their seed from a variety of sources. Over 75 percent of farmers in Zambia have adopted certified maize seed and about 30 percent in southern Africa, overall. The private sector has been instrumental in creating demand for certified and timely delivery of seed to remote areas, and the Government of Zambia’s Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) has largely contributed to better accessibility to certified seed for farmers. In 2022–2023, of the three million registered smallholder farmers in Zambia, more than one million accessed certified seed through FISP.

Afriseed is a seed company in Zambia that has been gaining ground in local seed markets. It has emerged as a catalyst for helping smallholder farmers transition to new, high-yielding legume varieties. Afriseed provides solutions to help smallholders increase their agricultural productivity with improved seed varieties of cereals and legumes and assist them with technology transfer. The company aims to increase the food security and incomes of Zambia’s smallholder farming community, which accounts for 90 percent of agricultural output in the country. During the 2022–2023 farming season, a critical turning point was reached when Afriseed became a partner in the Southern Africa Accelerated Innovation Delivery Initiative (AID-I) Rapid Delivery Hub, or MasAgro Africa, a two-year project under CIMMYT, with the aim of scaling-up production of certified seed varieties of soybean and common bean.

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