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Promoting Commercial and Sustainable Production of Early Generation Seed

Convening Report: Multiple Pathways for Promoting the Commercial and Sustainable Production and Delivery of Early Generation Seed for Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa

This report summarizes the outcomes of a convening on overcoming Africa’s early generation seed problems. The convening was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and took place on March 23, 2015.This report should be read in conjunction with the slide report entitled, “Early Generation Seed Study 1”

The production and delivery of early generation (breeder and foundation) seed continues to be one of the major bottlenecks hampering the functioning of seed value chains of major food crops in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In order to double agricultural productivity in ten years, and thereby achieve the target enunciated by all of Africa’s Heads of State in 2014 in the Malabo Declaration, governments must take action to manage the bottleneck of early generation seed availability for food crops.

Specific circumstances, crop types, and seed production costs and requirements introduce a wide variation and complexity into solving the problem of the supply of early generation seed (EGS) and getting quality seed of improved varieties available to smallholder farmers in SSA. Despite numerous technical studies of seed systems, no study has looked in-depth into business models by conducting a financial analysis, particularly exploring distinct modalities for public-private partnerships responding to a range of country and crop circumstances, and subsequently identifying effective pathways to promote the commercial and sustainable supply of EGS. The BMGF and USAID commissioned a study by Monitor-Deloitte that built on earlier work to offer a range of more business and market-oriented solutions to governments and private sector, according to varying circumstances, crop types, and countries. The convening was then held to review the study with a number of key stakeholders