Enabling seed policies

Summary

This activity will influence public policy formulation and implementation on seed system and seed market development through policy reviews, collaborative research, and knowledge-sharing. The key problem is the lack of coherent, effective policy design, articulation, and execution across many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This action learning project will share knowledge on how to support policies that strengthen the integration of formal and informal seed systems, delineate public and private sector roles, support incentives for innovation, and remove constraints to the supply and adoption of improved varieties and quality seed.

The action-learning process envisioned in this activity revolves around collaboration on in-depth studies with partners in two primary target countries (Ghana and Kenya) and desk reviews in potentially two additional countries (Ethiopia, Rwanda, and/or Senegal) to produce country case studies on seed system policy reform processes.

These case studies will be based on interviews with key actors and interest groups to collect new data, information, and insights on country experiences.

The activity will, in turn, engage with these stakeholders to further validate and disseminate findings, enhance the quality of policy discourse in the country, and ultimately strengthen local capacity for policy analysis, advocacy, and implementation.

Action learning questions

  1. What are the gaps in the design and implementation of national policies governing the seed system, and how are they both understood and addressed by key stakeholders to improve access to improved varieties and quality seed?
  2. How can national seed policies incorporate and benefit from conventions, agreements, organizations, networks, and initiatives at the national, regional, continental, and global levels? Examples include: mutual variety recognition and seed system harmonization efforts led by COMESA, SADC, ECOWAS; the AU model law; and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and the CGIAR agricultural innovation network.

  3. What type of innovative mechanisms can accelerate the effective implementation of seed policies? More specifically, what types of structures, systems, products, services, regulations, and guidelines can advance seed-system innovation, knowledge transfers, and meaningful partnerships between public and private sector—including farmers themselves—to improve smallholder access to improved varieties and quality seed?

Outcomes

Outcome 1. Policy and policy design processes, and policy implementation processes at national level understood, analysed, and improved

Outcome 2. Strategies for national policies to incorporate and benefit from conventions, agreements, organizations, networks, and initiatives at the national, regional, continental, and global levels designed

Outcome 3. Innovative mechanisms designed to accelerate seed system innovation, knowledge transfers, and public-private partnerships