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Thematic Working Group 2 - Improving Access to Varieties in the Public Domain

What arrangements between public crop improvement programs and private seed companies and/or seed producers contribute to the development of viable and sustainable seed sectors, and thereby increase the access of smallholder farmers to quality seed of improved varieties? An improved demand orientation of public breeding programs and increase in the number of public varieties used for commercial seed production will benefit farmers by increasing their choices in terms of varieties.

3 Key Research Questions:

  1. Access to information on available varieties and their economic traits (farmer and market preferred): What are the novel mechanisms for getting information out on varieties early and at scale for farmers and seed producers?

  2. Access to Foundation seed: What are the innovative models of getting foundation seed of public varieties to seed producers? Access to starter seed of locally adapted farmer preferred varieties from various sources (especially gene banks).

  3. Seed value chain agreements: What are effective variety use agreements and others in the seed value chain which improve access to new varieties to farmers and to private and other seed producers?

Case Studies and Background Papers:

Members of Thematic Working Group 2


  • Willem Heemskerk, KIT


  • Ivan Rwomushana, ICIPE

Members and Resource Persons: 

  • Ernest Asiedu, CORAF
  • Jean Claude Rubyogo, CIAT-Tanzania
  • Francisco Miti, SCCI

Ex-Officio Members: 

  • Lilian Kirimi, Tegemeo Institute
  • Ronnie Vernooij, Bioversity International
  • Tsedeke Abate, DTMA/CIMMYT
  • Louise Sperling, CRS

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