Towards more effective and resilient seed value chains for grain legumes and dryland cereals

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Background: a search for more effective and resilient seed value chains

What does it take to produce and make available to farmers good quality seed of diverse grain legume and dryland cereal crops, in a timely manner and for a reasonable price? What are the constraints that stakeholders face to develop resilient seed systems? What could be done to solve bottlenecks? (Photo 1) These are the questions that researchers of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (CRP-GLDC) (working together in the Cluster of Activities “Science of scaling seed technologies”) have tried to answer. In recent years, they documented, analyzed and explored a number of (new) target grain legumes and dryland cereals (GLDC) seed value chains in countries of Africa and South Asia. The research carried out in several countries was built on a framework developed earlier to guide GLDC seed system innovations (Ojiewo et al. 2020). Concerning seed system development, the guiding questions formulated in the strategy were:

How can the large majority of farmers using their own and non-improved seed be brought to the quality seed market?

  • What seed business models effectively enhance public and private partnerships to leverage and mainstream seed sector development?
  • What are the priority areas of capacity building (e.g., quality seed production and seed business management) for the seed chain actors?
  • How should seed delivery systems be organized for proximity, timely and affordable seed access to farmers in remote areas?
  • How to address seed inspection and associated costs in terms of qualified human resources and modern technology integration?
  • How best can the linkages between the stakeholders in GLDC seed systems be strengthened?

A number of studies supported by CRP-GLDC tried to find answers to these questions, on various GLDC crops, in various countries. In this brief, we present the main insights gained from the series of studies. The studies are summarized in the next session; followed by the main insights.

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