Increasing CSA evidence.

We’re working to increase the availability and use of CSA evidence. Vuna have commissioned and are publishing research on key topics that impact on climate change, the agriculture sector and the East and Southern African region.

Comparative Assessment of Seed Delivery Systems for Drought Tolerant Crops

Project Ref Number: 6924-EL02

Active period and status:
Project implementation completed – March 2016 to December 2016

Objectives:
One easy way to improve resilience of smallholder cropping systems is to provide farmers with more heat and drought tolerant varieties. However, national and regional seed systems commonly fail to make such varieties available to the majority of farmers. This project examined the main constraints to improving national and regional seed systems in East and Southern Africa, and identified opportunities for speeding the delivery of climate smart varieties to small-scale farmers.

Target Problem:
Commercial seed supply systems have been expanding over the last two decades, but largely concentrate on the supply of maize and hybrid seed crops. The majority of open and self-pollinated seed varieties released by breeding programs remain largely unknown to most farmers. The associated productivity gains are lost. Potential improvements in climate resilience are forgone. New efforts are needed to speed the multiplication and dissemination of these varieties in order to reverse these losses.

Summary approach:
This project supported the preparation of an Evidence and Learning Report offering at least two recommendations to guide future investment in more cost-effective strategies for improving the production and dissemination of seed of drought tolerant varieties. The underlying analysis was based on a review of literature, interviews with key informants in Vuna’s five target countries and the analysis of available seed data.

Results / findings to date:
A Literature Review Paper and an Evidence and Learning Report examining the status, and difficulties encountered in, expanding access to new seed varieties of drought resistant crops were developed and finalised internally in September and December 2016 respectively. A 2-page information brief was developed in March 2017. This information brief is for a technical audience and is a very short quick read version of the full report. Vuna anticipates the findings will be considered in future designs of related projects. We also expect these findings to be discussed regionally in complement with USAID’s related study of early generation seed systems.