Innovating Agriculture Business Models

We’re testing and promoting innovative business models that help the delivery of climate smart agriculture.

Zimbabwe: Seed Systems for Semi-Arid Areas

Project Ref Number: 6924-A010

Active period and status: Project in implementation – January 2017 to December 2017.

The objective of this project is to scale-up and strengthen a unique drought tolerant seed multiplication and marketing model in drought prone regions of Zimbabwe to supply small holder with seed which is appropriate for local climate conditions. This will be achieved by identifying and building evidence about sustainable commercial models to meet this objective. The project will provide the financial and technical support required to expand the number of small-holder farmers participating as seed multipliers of certified seed that can be sourced commercially on the open market through a network of mainly rural agro-dealers.

Gender Transformation:
This project focuses on increasing the uptake of CSA practices while particularly targeted women’s economic empowerment through the targeting of a value chain in which women are highly represented.

Target Problem:
This project targets the following key challenges faced by small holder farmers;

  • Small holder farmers have limited use and access to open pollinated maize and self-pollinating legume seeds
  • Small holder farmers have limited access to reliable agricultural machinery and water supply/infrastructure.

Summary approach:
This project provides TA and grant support the design, implementation and field testing of an expanded smallholder managed legume seed production model in semi-arid Zimbabwe to support smallholder farmers’ adoption of CSA practices. Vuna seeks to engage small-holder farmers as active seed multipliers of certified seed that can be sourced through a network of agro dealers. In addition, the project also takes on an innovative approach of enhancing small-holder seed producers access to efficient water infrastructure and mechanised (motorised) small-holder tillage systems.

Implementing partners: Zimbabwe Super Seeds (ZSS)

Results / findings to date:
Project implementation underway. 900 smallholder seed growers recruited in semi-arid regions. Growers have planted a wide range of foundation seed – 40 Ha cowpeas, 72ha sorghum, 123 ha pearl millet, 117 maize. The winter bean seed crop was also grown by 372 farmers in three districts. A total of 90 agrodealers were recruited in the three districts for the marketing of the certified seed that will be generated from this current crop. The company also established three new seed warehouses in the districts and created a total of 21 new jobs. A total of 15 field days were held with an average attendance of 150 farmers (55% female farmers).