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Improving Seed Systems for Farmers

Enhancing smallholder farmers' capabilities is necessary to improve food productivity, raise household incomes, reduce malnutrition, and jointly address the systematic market failures in agricultural trade to drive positive impacts within the communities. Boosting agriculture productivity for food security, incomes, and resilient livelihoods is, therefore, a prudent pathway to rural transformation and development.

Access to quality seeds and other farm inputs remains a challenge for rural smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda. Farming households save seeds, season after season leading to low productivity. Affordable high-yielding crop seed varieties can help farmers to increase their harvest, earn better incomes and improve food security. It is therefore important to increase the supply of quality seeds and to provide farmers the mechanisms that allow them to adopt climate-smart agriculture to mitigate extreme weather variations, pests, and diseases.

The escalating effects of climate crisis and COVID-19 Pandemic are exacerbating food insecurity. Building communities’ resilience to prevent food crisis now and in the future is critical. And therefore, relevant stakeholders need to implore strategies that integrate value addition and the adoption of climate-resilient agriculture systems to restore, rehabilitate degraded ecosystems and soil function for sustainable food production (Track 3: UN Food Summit COP26.). The communities, we serve, hold the view that the most effective locally-led economic transformation approach for them is anchored on agriculture productivity and resilient building. With improved seed varieties that are drought tolerant and disease resistant, farmers are able to adapt to climate-smart agriculture to mitigate extreme weather variations, pests, and diseases.

Making Seed Systems Work for the Farmers: With technical support from Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD), National Agricultural Research Organisation: NARO Ug and NORTHERN UGANDA LOCAL SEED BUSINESS (NULSBA), SEE Impact, embarked on an ambitious journey to support the transformation of rural communities from subsistence farming to commercial food production and to build better, a sustainable and prosperous future.

During season B of 2020, we utilized our demonstration farm to multiply 12.5 metric tons of high-yielding Foundation crop seeds. Our efforts have significantly contributed to;

  • Improving inputs and distribution systems, and positive relationships with other input commercial distributors to reach the last mile farmers.

  • Providing training and knowledge transfers to smallholder farmers (leveraging local knowledge)

  • Adopting climate-smart agriculture to mitigate extreme weather variations, pests, and diseases

  • Providing opportunities for farmers to earn a better income through aggregation and bulk sales

  • Providing employment opportunities for the youth along the value chains.

Capacity Building of farmer groups:

We have highly committed teams who are providing training to the farmer groups on a wide range of topics including;

  • Importance of certified quality seeds and how farmer groups can engage in the local seed business

  • Equipping them with best farming practices on pre-harvest skills such as land selection, preparations, and

  • Knowledge transfers on crop management; weeding, rouging, Pests and diseases

  • Training on group formation and organization including financial management, seed crop budget, resource mobilization, and different ways of raising group financing for example; through the Savings and Credit Cooperatives and Village Savings and Lending Association. (SACCOs and VSLAs)

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