Participants of the strengthening seed system and market development forum

Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development of Egerton University, Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE) in partnership with International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD), Directorate of Policy, MoALFC, and NPCK, convened a workshop on strengthening Seed Systems and Market Development in Kenya at PanAfric Hotel, Nairobi. Seed systems in Africa, south of the Sahara region, have been a central topic in the public discourse as part of wider conversations on policy options for agriculture and rural development. Although they have followed different development trajectories, seed systems in the region seem to be affected by a number of factors including political economies, farming systems, agro-ecological factors and market development factors that policymakers and stakeholders must address if the systems are to thrive.

The main purpose of the meeting was to create an enabling environment that will ensure the seed system becomes vibrant and sustainable. Some of the issues that the participants agreed upon as a way of achieving this key objective include;-

Following up on the regulatory policies to ensure proper implementation, employing Integrated Seed Systems to address challenges in meeting existing seed supply gaps in Kenya, there is a need to find innovative ways of de-risking agriculture along the entire value chain, need to drive technology transfer and adoption of technologies by fostering research-market linkages just to mention but a few. Some interventions recommended by the seed policy need review to cater and align to emerging issues and new development. Most research in seed system is disjointed (i.e. we are producing varieties that are not in demand) hence there is the need for profiling and ensuring the available technologies quickly respond to market demand – this would attract private sector investment to extend such technologies to the market. There is a willingness to review existing regulatory framework by KEPHIS, CIP, CGIAR and CABE to prepare a concept note to fast track this process, to address the financial problem in the value chain, to explore blended financing, resource mapping and matching among key actors.

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