Conference session: Monday 21 June 14:00 CEST. Join the session to hear new insights from a comprehensive continental review and help pick out key recommendations on the way forward.

This session has taken place. A recording will be shared on this website in due course.

Many African smallholders use low-quality seed of older, poorly adapted varieties. The limited adoption rates of quality seeds for minor cereals and grain legumes has been attributed to various factors including limited awareness of new varieties, weak institutional and policy environments, variable agro-ecologies and weak economic drivers. The production and delivery of Early Generation Seed (EGS) for these crops depends on innovative business models and commercialization pathways, otherwise long-term sustainability is at risk.

In this session, we briefly present a review of EGS business models from the ISSD Africa programme (Hellen Opie, NARO) and examples from ISSD Uganda (Geoffrey Otim, Wageningen University.

With a view to understanding the challenges facing private seed companies, invited guest speakers Steven van der Merwe (African Seed Production Services) and Takemore Chagomoka (Seed Co West and Central Africa) will attest to the need for effective seed demand forecasting and achieving customer satisfaction.

Finally, we will solicit and discuss contributions from conference participants on possible game-changing interventions upon which future EGS investments can be made.

Session objectives:

  • To share which EGS models ‘work’ for which dryland cereal and legume crops, where, and why. What are the remaining gaps and constraints?
  • To provide insights into what more is needed to assure the success of private seed companies operating in this space, including criteria for customer satisfaction
  • To solicit novel ideas from session participants for possible ‘game-changing’ investments in EGS production and supply. What is still needed?



  • Boudy van Schagen, Senior Advisor Agriculture, Royal Tropical Institute


  • Chris Ojiewo, ISSD Africa Topic Lead: Business Models for EGS, ICRISAT
  • Hellen Opie, Researcher, NARO
  • Geoffrey Otim, Advisor, ISSD Uganda
  • Steven van der Merwe, African Seed Production Services
  • Takemore Chagomoka, Seed Co West and Central Africa