Conference session: Tuesday 22 June 13:00 CEST. Join this session to help shape a planning and forecasting tool to improve the matching of seed supply and demand.

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

Variation in rainfed farmers’ seed demand between years can be linked to climatic events. In dry, late-onset years, for example, seed suppliers typically sell different seed quantities (at species and variety level) than in years with abundant rainfall.

At present, this situation can lead to suboptimal outcomes for both farmers and seed suppliers: high-demand varieties may sell out, and carry-over of not-distributed seed has a cost for seed suppliers. Today, free online seasonal climate forecasts give a reasonably reliable indication of rainfall quantities with up to six months lead time. These forecasts provide probability estimates for seasonal scenarios (dry / average / rainy season). Using such climate forecasts, seed suppliers could better anticipate farmers’ seed demand and adapt seed distribution accordingly.

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT together with SeedCo, Ltd. (Zimbabwe) propose a simple procedure, supported by an MS excel workbook, that lets seed suppliers improve planning through two steps: (1) Correlate past seed demand with past climate, (2) anticipate next-season’s seed demand trends based on forecasted seasonal climate.

In this session, we will present the concept and procedure, and hope to engage with seed sector experts to hear their thoughts on how seasonal scenario planning could improve matching seed supply and demand.

Introduction video

In this video, you hear from Johnathan Steinke from the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT. Johnathan introduces the tool that will be explored during the session:

Session objectives

Our goals are that participating experts

  • learn about the concept of scenario planning in seed supply
  • discuss possible use cases of scenario planning in different stages of seed supply
  • provide feedback on the proposed scenario planning procedure and tool



  • Johnathan Steinke, Research Fellow, Digital Inclusion, Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT

Presenters and panel

  • Gareth Borman, ISSD Africa Topic Lead: Creating Demand for Quality Seed, WCDI
  • Berta Ortiz-Crespo, Research Fellow, Digital Inclusion, Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT
  • Dean Muungani, IITA-Nigeria, Senior maize breeder, Head of product development (speaking on behalf of SeedCo Ltd. Zimbabwe where he worked during the trial and development of the tool)
  • Jacob van Etten, Research Director, Digital Inclusion, Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT
  • Marlene Kretschmer, Scientist, Dept. of Meteorology, University of Reading