OSRO/SUD/104/FRA - Consolidating the Community-Based Seed Production and Supply in Southern Sudan
Seeds, plant genetic resources, Emergency project, Food security
To improve food security and livelihoods of farming households in southern Sudan by increasing availability and access to locally produced quality seed/planting materials
Seeds are the basic inputs in agricultural production, and are central part of farmer’s life worldwide. In Southern Sudan, farmers normally obtain the seeds they need from various sources such as seed selected from grain; being exchanged and/or bought from neighboring families, friends, relatives while some are obtained from emergency, rehabilitation and development interventions.
No formal seed company exists in southern Sudan and therefore no certified seed is being produced in the entire Southern Sudan. Attempts are being made by rehabilitation and development partners (NGOs/CBOs/UN) to bridge this important link through community-based seed bulking and multiplication. The success of this however depends on a number of factors such as suitability of the local agro-ecology; weather and security conditions; knowledge, skills, experience and willingness of farmers; and market access. In southern Sudan, the potential for producing quality seed exists in the Green Belt, Hills and Mountain zone, the Ironstone Plateaus and the Nile and Sobat corridor.
With assistance from the Japanese government in 2007, FAO initiated the community-based seed production and supply scheme (OSRO/SUD/715/JPN) to improve on the quality, increase availability and access to locally adapted crop varieties. The follow up project (OSRO/SUD/817/FRA) supported by the government of France aimed at strengthening and scaling up the initial project activities. Although a number of successes were registered by the two projects, there is a number of issues that still need to be addressed. As noted by seed growers and the extension agents, the seed market is uncertain; the labour demand is high; farmers are still faced will challenge of drying beans, maize and cowpea in the first season; access to credit and other services is poor; there is need for basic/foundation seeds of improved/new crop varieties; the need to strengthen seed extension services and scale up Farmers’ Field School (FFS) is enormous. The opportunity of making seed relief intervention in southern Sudan still depends largely on food security assessment with no much attention to seed security. Therefore, the proposed intervention will focus at addressing some of the issues arising from the current intervention.
To build on the achievements made, and narrow the existing gaps in developing a functional seed production and supply system, the proposed intervention targets the progressive seed growers in five states. A total of 300 individual farmers or households are expected to be engaged in seed production. These farmers will be assisted to form functional seed marketing groups and/or associations.
The community-based seed production project is part of FAO efforts in moving away from pure emergency and humanitarian intervention towards rehabilitation and development. It is well known fact that seeds are the most important agricultural inputs in crop production; they determine the upper limit on yields and therefore the ultimate productivity of other agricultural inputs.
Based on the agro-ecological suitability, the proposed intervention will be implemented in the following production areas (counties) within five states; Eastern Equatoria State (Magwi County); Central Equatoria (Yei River and Morobo Counties); Lakes state (Rumbek East County); WBELG State (Wau County); and Western Equatoria State (Yambio and Nzara Counties). The project will be implemented through collaborative networking with GOSS/MoAF/SSARTO/SMoA/CAD, NGOs and CBOs (IPs) with involvement of local leaders at county, payam (sub-county) and boma (parish) levels.
The seed produced from the five states is expected to meet the local seed demand at community level as well as meeting the seed need of returnees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within and outside the project areas. An expected 300 MT of seed is expected to be produced by the end of the project. This is expected to increase access to quality seeds of selected crop varieties to over 50,000 farming households faced with seed insecurity in the entire southern Sudan
This initiative will not only improve seed and food security, but also reduce the over dependency on seed aid from outside southern Sudan. It will also ensure that aid money is injected directly into the local economy, particularly through seed and input trade fairs. The farmers will benefit from the introduction of appropriate seed technologies (improved varieties, agronomy, processing and marketing) that will improve their income and livelihoods. It is envisage that this initiative will also provide an entry point into the development of private sector driven seed enterprises in southern Sudan and it will also trigger the development of commercial seed sector in the long run.
The main objective of the project is to improve food security and livelihood by increasing availability and access to locally produced quality seed/planting materials. The outcome and outputs of the project are;
Outcome: Quality seed production and supply scheme established and/or strengthened in five states of south Sudan.
i. Over 300 seed growers organized and their capacity strengthened to enable them produce over 300 MT of quality seeds of adapted local and modern crop varieties (beans, cassava, cowpea, groundnut, maize, sesame and sorghum), and the seeds made available to over 50 000 returnees, IDPs and vulnerable households
ii. Seed extension services strengthened in all the project locations so that seed growers are supported to produce quality seeds of adopted and improved crop varieties
iii. Increased access to seed marketing channels by the current seed growers in southern Sudan.
The above outputs will be realised through the following activities; mobilization and sensitization; training of extension agents and farmers; production and provision of seed production, processing and marketing information; distribution of implements, equipments and tools; construction of a community-based seed store and drying yard; improving access to credit and other services; introduction of improved/new varieties from IARC and NARS; linking seed growers to private seed sector; strengthening seed quality control; provision of transports (motorcycles) facilities to extension system; supporting basic seed multiplication by SSARTO; seed multiplication/bulking; assessing seed market demand and supply in southern Sudan; creating market linkages through seed and input trade fairs and seed recollection programme; mechanizing seed processing and promoting collective seed storage and marketing.
Mar 2011 - Mar 2012
677 505 USD