Studies and reports
One of the major bottlenecks limiting farmers’ access to good quality seed for food crops in Uganda is the shortage of early generation seed (EGS – breeder and foundation) to produce sufficient quantities of certified and/or quality declared) to satisfy the needs of farmers. A national study was conducted between October 2015 to March 2016 to analyse pathways for promoting commercial and sustainable production and delivery of EGS. Five crops (hybrid maize, rice, beans, sesame and finger millet) were selected. The analysis provides real examples of potential business models that could scale in a commercially sustainable manner. For areas that are best suited to public sector investment, opportunities for public-private collaboration and increased efficiencies in the sector are outlined. Generalizable principles and recommendations to guide key stakeholders as they pursue policies, investments, and interventions are proposed.
The use of good quality seed and planting materials of high yielding varieties significantly increas-es crop production. It is essential that it is availa-ble on time and place at affordable prices. In Uganda, there are two co-existing seed systems through which seed and planting materials are availed to farmers. The formal system is regulat-ed by Government and contributes about 15% of total seed supply. The remaining 85% of seed is produced through the informal system that is un-regulated and depends on farm-saved seed from previous cropping.
Given the challenges agriculture faces as a result of climate change, building resilience is a priority. Crop adaptation has been suggested by a number of studies as an effective strategy for adapting to climate change. Crop adaptation requires farmers to make decisions on which crops to grow that are suited to their environments. Seed systems play a crucial role as a basis for crop selection, and subsequently adaptation to climate change. This study used participatory research approaches to assess the extent of climate variability as perceived by communities, its effect on crop and seed systems and identification of varieties that hold potential as climate resilient varieties for integration into local seed business. The participating groups of farmers ranged from 24 to 48 members.
This study was conducted in the three ISSD programme areas – West Nile, South Western and Northern to specifically provide information on farmers’ access to seed and other planting materials. The study showed that farmers grow a number of crops often in pure stand but mainly in mixed patterns intercrops. Major crops grown in the three study areas are beans, maize, ground nuts and cassava. Rice, ground nuts and beans comprise relatively larger volumes planted as compared to other crops. 89% of the farmers obtain seed from informal sources of seed – farmer saved seed, local markets and neighbours. At least 42% of farmers buy seed for planting, of which 35% buy seed from local shops, 5% from agro-dealers or seed companies and 2% from LSB of seed producing groups in their communities. Demand for seed varies per season and by region given differences in farming systems, with Northern and West Nile growing mainly cereals and root crops while South Western the major crops are maize and beans.
This report is an outcome of a Seed Security Assessment (SSA) conducted in West Nile sub-region in March 2015. The assessment, which was commissioned by the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Uganda, was necessitated by the need to fully understand the local community’s perspectives on seed security and how the influx of refugees in the sub-region affects seed demand and supply. The SSA focused on both the formal and informal seed systems which farmers use. Channels assessed included those in the informal seed sector, namely; home stocks, seed obtained from social networks, seed aid, local markets; and the formal seed sector such as agro-input dealers, commercial companies, government, or research stations. The assessment was conducted using the Seed Security Conceptual Framework (SSCF) by attempting to answer questions on seed availability, access, quality, suitability and resilience. A combination of data collection methods was employed, including conducting household survey with 344 households; holding 10 Focus Group Discussions (FGD); conducting 20 Key Informant Interviews (KII); conducting four seed grower interviews; conducting nine agro-input dealer interviews; and conducting 16 local market surveys.