An 11 million Euro initiative, the ISSD Plus project was implemented from 2016–2021 with funding from The Dutch Government through the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Kampala (EKN). ISSD Plus was implemented by Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) in partnership with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and Wageningen Plant Research (WPR). This project aimed to support the development of a vibrant pluralistic and market-oriented seed sector in Uganda, providing more than 300,000 smallholder farmers access to aﬀordable quality seed of preferred varieties. It 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. The geographic operational focus was on the Northern, South-Western, Western Highlands, South Western Highlands, East zones of Uganda with a presence in West Nile.
The project’s target was to scale the success of the pilot ISSD project (2012-2016) in contributing to an increased use of seed of high quality in small and medium sized farms. In addition, it proposed a speciﬁc component on the development of the horticultural sector. The project focused on challenges around the limited level of access to and use of quality seed of improved crop varieties by small holder farmers especially Open Pollinated Varieties (OPVs) of crops of legumes, oil seed, small cereals and roots and tubers commonly known as orphaned crops.
There was a need for sector transformation to foster pluralism through policy reforms to support alternative seed delivery systems to complement the existing formal seed system. At the same time, all related challenges across the seed value chain needed to be addressed in a wholistic manner. The challenges included: access to suﬃcient quantities of quality basic seed (early generation seed – EGS) as an input for quality seed production; access to seed business technology and aﬀordable quality assurance services for quality seed growers; and at farmer uptake level, access to suﬃcient volumes of quality seed and suﬃcient awareness about quality seed.
The project goal was to be realized through increased productivity of ﬁeld crops and vegetables through the increased use of quality seed of adapted and farmer preferred varieties. In terms of ﬁeld crops, the project worked across the seed value chain to ensure increased availability, access and use of quality seed by smallholder farmers. This was to lead to increased productivity and increased incomes as well as improved food security at household level. The productivity increase was to result from an increase in crop yields as a direct result of the use of quality seed by small and medium-scale farmers as opposed to use of farmer saved seed.