Size matters in seeding success: small packs drive market penetration for improved seed

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Small tends to be underrated. Yet, it can be tremendously successful. Initially skeptical, market actors have now embraced the village-based advisor (VBA)/small-pack approach in their marketing strategy.

Seed systems in the Great Lakes Region are still nascent and characterized by actor diversity and production and distribution models. These models span from government-led production and distribution in Burundi to a private sector-led and government-enabled approach in Rwanda, while DRC relies heavily on imports and informal systems. Small companies and cooperatives involved in seed production – albeit with limited marketing and distribution operations – are common across all three countries. Indeed, most of them sell their produce in bulk to the government, relief agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Consequently, farmers remain largely unaware of new technologies, and innovative products are not always locally available when needed.

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