Studies & Reports


The National Seed Policy was approved by cabinet in October 2018 and launched by the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries in March, 2019. The main objective of the National Seed Policy is to foster growth and development of a vibrant seed sub-sector in Uganda. It clearly explains the supportive efforts that the formal and informal seed systems play in providing seed to the farming community. Thus, the need to develop this popular version for all stakeholders to have access, read and understand the importance of using quality seed.


The Integrated Seed Sector Development Plus project (ISSD Plus) aimed to support the development of a vibrant and market-oriented seed sector in Uganda, providing more than 300,000 smallholder farmers access to affordable quality seed of preferred varieties. The project was implemented from 2015–2021. It was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kampala (EKN) and implemented by Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WUR, WCDI), in partnership with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and Wageningen Plant Research (WPR). The other critical implementing partner is the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) through the National Seed Certification Services (NSCS). The project worked across the entire seed value chain and promoted all classes of quality seed in Uganda with the aim of increasing access to and uptake of quality seed for smallholder farmers in Uganda.

Evaluation report on irrigation design and installation at LSBs Kitembe and Wadelai

Within the scope of the ISSD project Resilience BV has provided a training on small-scale irrigation design, as well as an initial assessment of irrigation capacity and profitability for several LSBs in 2019. The follow-up activity of this assessment was to provide two LSBs with an irrigation system, which was performed in March and April 2021. This report describes the process of the design and installation at both locations (Kitembe and Wadelai), and gives some recommendations for future efforts.

Assessment of Gender Mainstreaming for the ISSD plus Project, Uganda

Uganda’s agriculture is dominated by smallholder farmers who are faced with numerous challenges among which is limited access to and use of quality seed. This prompted Wageningen UR Uganda (WUU) in collaboration with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) with funding from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda to implement a four-year “Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Plus” project from 2016 to 2020. The aim of the ISSD Plus project was to strengthen the development of a vibrant, pluralistic and market-oriented seed sector in Uganda. The project components were: promotion of uptake of quality seed; enhancing the Quality Declared Seed system through supporting Local Seed Businesses (LSBs); addressing bottlenecks in early generation seed (EGS) and creating an enabling environment for the seed sector; and promoting the use of advanced vegetable varieties. However, during implementation, it was established that LSBs were marred with a number of gender-related issues, which prompted ISSD to integrate gender inclusive approaches in a bid to overcome gender challenges within households and in LSBs.


Maize is an important crop grown in most parts of the Uganda for food, feed and income (Asea. et al, 2014). Given climate risk to agricultural seasons, drought tolerant maize varieties can play an important role in maintaining production and protecting livelihoods. Potential barriers for uptake of advanced seed technology could be that farmers lack information to assess benefits of drought tolerant maize, or because of liquidity constraints, or downside risk. Recent empirical literature argues that downside risk, for example risk of substantial income loss associated with weather shocks, may deter farmers to invest in production enhancing technology such a certified seed (Emerick et al., 2016). This despite the fact that the seed has a much higher yield potential and is often more drought tolerant than the varieties traditionally grown by farmers (CCAFS, 2019). Farmers rely mostly on home-saved seed and low quality products from local markets.


This report describes the outcomes of subregional meetings to disseminate the National Seed Policy (NSP) and regulatory framework, online surveys to assess the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on access to quality seed, and performance of the functions, services and activities of the seed sector in Uganda conducted from July-September 2020. The specific objectives were to appraise the District Agricultural Officers (DAOs) and farmers’ organisations/associations representatives of the NSP and regulatory frameworks; assess the impact of covid-19 pandemic on access to quality seed; assess the level performance of the seed value chain services and functions; and analyse the limitations of decentralising the implementation of the NSP. The integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Plus project in Uganda, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) funded the study. The methodology included a literature review to provide background on the seed sector; online survey to assess the performance of the functions of the seed sector, the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on access to quality seed; and a series of sub-regional meetings. The subregional meetings used a participatory discussion approach focusing on the understanding of the NSP, related legal and regulatory frameworks; issues and challenges in the implementation of the NSP; and practical actions to address them. The questionnaires for the online surveys were guided by the seed sector analysis methodology using scores to guide the respondents. The survey was coded in Kobo toolbox and collated in a database for analysis.



In strengthening the development of a vibrant, pluralistic, and market-oriented seed sector, the Integrated Seed Sector Development Plus (ISSD Plus) project introduced Quality Declared Seed (QDS) of mainly non-hybrid crops to be produced at the community level by trained farmer groups. It empowered skilled and market-oriented farmer groups through a Local Seed Business (LSB) approach, and has since 2012 supported over 264 LSBs in 59 districts across Uganda. To assess the contribution of the LSBs to the seed sector in Uganda, the “Access to seed survey” was commissioned focussing on assessing availability, accessibility, affordability and quality of QDS of seven priority crops; beans, groundnuts, potato, rice, soybean, sesame and cassava in six regions of Uganda over the last four years (2016-2020). The regions included Kigezi, Ankole, Rwenzori, Eastern, West Nile, and Northern region. In this survey, QDS availability was defined as seed supply or the physical quantity of QDS available to farmers from LSBs and any other sources. QDS access was defined as effective demand for the seed, given the prevailing intrinsic and extrinsic factors, while QDS affordability was defined as farmers’ ability to access and use QDS in required quantities, quality, and time. QDS quality was assessed using qualitative methods based on farmers’ perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge of seed quality attributes. The study used mixed methods including literature and document review, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, case studies, household survey, and a local market survey that involved LSBs and agro-input dealers in the study area. The household survey involved farmer-beneficiaries of the ISSD Plus project (farmers in sub-counties where LSBs were established and supported), and a control group (farmers from other sub counties which did not directly participate in the ISSD Plus project and where there were no LSBs). Using a mixture of purposive, stratified, an

Uganda Early Generation Seed Study

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.

Research report on climate resilient local seed businesses

Impact of climate change on agricultural productivity has increasingly attained attention amongst various stakeholders across the globe. Climate variability is crucial as it in addition to the crop species genetic potential influences quality and productivity of agricultural systems. In an effort to strengthen the resilience potential of the local seed businesses in West Nile, this study aimed at documenting and understanding how communities are perceiving and responding to climate change.

Theory of Change


Enhancing resilience of farmer seed system to climate-induced stresses: Insights from a case study in West Nile region, Uganda

Agriculture is the backbone of most African economies and livelihood of many people. However, agriculture is often charac- terized by high variability of production outcomes and production risks. Unlike most other entrepreneurs, agricultural producers cannot predict with certainty the amount of output their produc- tion process will yield, due to external factors such as weather, pests, and diseases (van de Steeg et al., 2009). The effects of climate change and variability add to the challenges facing agricultural producers in Africa in producing enough food for the growing population.

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