- Promoting small seed packs to improve smallholder farmers’ access to quality seed
Smallholder farmers face a number of challenges accessing seed in the traditional size bags. ISSD Ethiopia and partners work on initiatives to promote more accessible small seed packs.
- COVID-19: Seed Alert #2 – Continued critical impacts on seed sector functioning
June 2020: Sector partners continue to observe and discuss emerging critical challenges and potential urgent actions in response to COVID-19 and the imposed measures and restrictions
- COVID-19: Synthesis shows Ethiopia seed sector not alone in facing challenges
Seed sector partners in multiple countries have been collaborating to rapidly assess the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the functioning of the seed sector. This synthesis shows useful comparisons in impacts and suggested urgent actions
- COVID-19: Seed Alert #01 recommends urgent actions
ISSD Ethiopia and partners completed a rapid assessment on emerging impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the seed sector. This Seed Alert recommends specific actions on four urgent issues
- Mapping the needs of Ethiopian public seed sector services
This study charts the needs of public seed bodies in Ethiopia which should be addressed in order to advance seed sector transformation.
- Transforming the Ethiopian Seed Sector: Issues and Strategies
The Ministry of Agriculture has launched this guiding document to inform on the current state of, and ambitions for seed sector transformation in Ethiopia.
- ISSD SNNPR September newsletter
Download and read all the latest updates and achievements from the ISSD Unit in SNNPR
- Charting seed sector transformation: From distributed seed to distributed autonomy
With the directive on seed marketing being endorsed earlier this year, we chart here the physical and cognitive journey many had to take to reach this point.
- ISSD Tigray: Fostering business relationships
ISSD’s Tigray Unit facilitated a consultative workshop which saw representatives of multiple SPCs, seed unions and other key stakeholders discuss ways and means to overcome joint challenges and improve collaboration
- ISSD Amhara: August Newsletter
Download and read the latest updtes from ISSD Amhara
- Private sector development to deliver on nutrition targets
Ethiopia and the Netherlands are committed partners in seed sector development. Building on Ethiopian seed sector transformation, planning is underway to strengthen and broaden this partnership and enable mutually beneficial business and trade. With nutrition top of the agenda, ISSD Ethiopia facilitated a recent scoping mission to frame the challenges and opportunities ahead.
- ISSD OSW: Strengthening seed business relationships
ISSD’s Oromia South & West Unit facilitated a two-day workshop aimed at highlighting ways to improve cooperation and coordination between SPCs and seed unions.
- Action planning to guide new seed producer cooperatives
ISSD facilitated a recent training which focused on supporting farmers who have mobilised and formed new cooperatives.
- Graduated LSBs: stepping up or hanging in?
ISSD invests in developing local seed businesses that are technically equipped, market oriented, professionally organised and strategically linked. A recent study highlighted the lasting impact the programme’s activities has had on their viability, generating lessons for further support to seed producing cooperatives.
- ISSD Tigray: July newsletter
Download and read the latest developments and achievements by ISSD’s Tigray Unit, with this month’s focus on partnerships
- ISSD Oromia East: July newsletter
Download and read the latest developments from ISSD’s Unit in Oromia East.
- Ethiopian success informs high-level global seed sector development gathering
Ethiopian seed sector stakeholders, supported by ISSD Ethiopia, have been transforming the national seed sector. Their successes have not gone unnoticed and during a recent international workshop held at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa, ISSD Ethiopia shared its lessons learned, hoping to inspire similar transformations in other countries.
- Piloting insurance mechanism to combat climate change risk
The impact of the last El Nino on productivity and income confirmed the vulnerability of many seed producers to such shocks. ISSD’s Oromia East Unit reports on a potential solution.
- ISSD SNNPR: BENEFIT partners strategising on gender issues
ISSD and CASCAPE gender experts met to discuss complimentarity and a joint way forward in our collective efforts on gender issues in the Ethiopian food system.
- EGS contractual agreements signed
ISSD Ethiopia has been tasked by the Federal Government to support the development of a new and effective EGS system.
- ISSD Amhara’s contributions to SPCs recognised
During the 3rd annual Amhara regional cooperative exhibition, ISSD’s Amhara unit was awarded a certificate to acknowledge their efforts to strengthening regional seed producer cooperatives
- ISSD OSW: Assessing seed dissemination mechanisms in informal seed systems
The ISSD unit in Oromia South and West assessed seed dissemination mechanisms in six woredas. The results highlight important distinctions across crops and areas
- ISSD Tigray: Collaborating with AGP to modernise the seed system
ISSD’s team at Mekelle University hosted colleagues from the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) to identify opportunities for improved collaboration in our efforts to strengthen the Tigray seed sector
- ISSD Tigray: Supporting partners to lead on crowdsourcing and PVS
The ISSD Tigray unit has delivered an orientation workshop on crowdsourcing (CS) and participatory varietal selection (PVS) for researchers from four Agricultural Research Centers (ARCs) and wereda office of agriculture representatives
- ISSD Oromia: BENEFIT partners deliver Training-of-Trainers on PVS and crowdsourcing
ISSD teamed up with our sister programme, REALISE, to deliver a ToT to help our partners adopt and ultimately lead PVS and crowdsourcing activities.
- ISSD Amhara: Institutionalizing crowd sourcing and PVS systems
ISSD’s Amhara team is supporting seed sector stakeholders to adopt and embed the key innovations and learning from ISSD’s crowdsourcing and PVS activities
- ISSD Oromia East: Mini-seed marketing essential for farmers in marginal areas
With the objective to enhance the marketing of quality seed, three SPCs (Misoma Gudina, Abdi Gudina, and Jalela Bishan Babile) conducted mini-seed marketing at Guba Koricha woreda, Bube Kebele on May 1, 2019.
- ISSD Tigray: Key achievements highlighted during Research Review Day
The ISSD Tigray unit project has presented its main achievements on the Mekelle University annual research review day
- Oromia East: SPCs strengthen organisational management
ISSD’s Oromia Unit facilitated a training of 32 professionals to support seed producer cooperatives in their management practices.
- Oromia East: New strategy for improving seed production and marketing
ISSD’s Oromia East Unit organised a workshop with key stakeholders to address pressing supply and marketing issues in Hararghe zones.
- National Newsletter – February 2019
Download and read about the latest activities and achievements of ISSD Ethiopia over the previous months; as well as gain insights into current focus areas.
- ISSD SNNPR: Sustainable Crop Improvement Approach for the 21st Century
A training focusing on PVS, crowd sourcing, gender sensitive informal seed system intervention and data collecting system was held at the town of Shashemene from Feb 26 – 28/2019.
- Strengthening EGS production & supply through systems thinking
The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EAIR) and Regional Agricultural Research Institutes (RARIs) are key seed sector stakeholders. These institutes have a lead role in variety development, variety maintenance and quality EGS production. To support and strengthen their efforts ISSD provided a training to these organisations staff, highlighting the opportunities that the ISSD approach andContinue reading “Strengthening EGS production & supply through systems thinking”
- Innovations improve linkages between seed supply and demand
Ensuring seed supply matches demand is a complex national process. Various institutional bottlenecks continue to result in farmers not getting seed of the varieties they want, while unused seed sits as carryover, degrading and potentially becoming unusable. ISSD and partners strive to address these challenges and our collaboration is yielding promising innovations.
- Transformative agenda for seed sector developed, endorsed and adopted
Across 2018, regional and national seed sector stakeholders have engaged intensively, shaping an action agenda to transform the seed sector.
- Social capital and community welfare motivates nodal farmers’ informal seed exchange
Nodal farmers’ role and motivations to exchange seed in their locality formed the topic of recent research. ISSD Tigray Unit facilitated a Wageningen University (Netherlands) researcher to conduct a seed social network analysis, concluding that while nodal farmer self-interest plays a role, community and neighbourly well-being remain important factors in engaging in seed exchange.
- Local seed business models revisited
ISSD Ethiopia provides evidence for the sustainability of local seed business (LSB) in Ethiopia by revisiting 33 LSBs graduated from programme support in 2015. The study set out to test two assumptions of the programme. The first is that the LSB model is commercially sustainable and the second is that LSBs make a significant contributionContinue reading “Local seed business models revisited”
- Enhancing skills for post-harvest quality seed management
BENEFIT-ISSD Oromia East project unit organized and conducted a one day training of trainers (TOT) on post-harvest quality seed management for woreda experts and DAs at Ras Hotel, Harar city.
- Snapshot: ISSD activities in PVS and crowdsourcing
Since 2017, BENEFIT-ISSD Ethiopia has engaged in innovative and highly participatory activities to strengthen informal seed systems across the country. Here, you can take a look at some of the key activities, in numbers and photos. Download the file here
- Report: Seed sector governance workshop
Representatives of stakeholders in the seed sector met in Addis Ababa to discuss governance of the seed sector, at national and regional levels. You can read the report here
- ISSD Oromia East Unit – November Newsletter
Download and read the latest updates from the ISSD team in Oromia East
- ISSD Tigray Unit: Newsletter September 2018
Download and learn about the exciting updates from ISSD Ethiopia’s Tigray Unit.
- Key actions to improve national seed quality identified
Poor quality seed is a key contributor to reduced productivity and thus food and livelihood insecurity. Smallholder farmers are particularly challenged by seed quality issues. Across the sector technical and capacity challenges persist. ISSD commissioned the Royal Tropical Institute of the Netherlands (KIT) to complete a study on seed quality control across Ethiopia. A totalContinue reading “Key actions to improve national seed quality identified”
- Field day highlights successes of PVS, crowdsourcing and scaling activities
As part of ISSD’s informal seed system project, close to 200 stakeholders, including a notably large share of female farmers gathered to learn evaluate and learn from 2017 scaling up activities as well as 2018 PVS and crowdsourcing work.
- Exchange visits and field days highlighting key learning from crowdsourcing and PVS
ISSD’s Oromia South & West unit has facilitated crowdsourcing and PVS on multiple crops with over 400 farmers.
- Better collaboration on production, marketing and SPC management
ISSD Amhara organised a collaborative workshop and training for Bureau of Agriculture staff from Farta woreda, and many cooperative representatives.
- AGP & ISSD creating seed sector synergy
Different stakeholders are working to improve the seed system but lack strong partnership for synergetic effect.
- Rapid gender assessments in SPCs
ISSD-OSE conducted rapid gender assessment in three Seed Producing Cooperatives (SPCs) of (Kolbe, Tuka Katara and Moti),
- Analysing gender roles and preferences on soybean and chickpea
In collaboration with CASCAPE, ISSD Oromia South and West Unit organised an in-depth gender analysis in Tole and Wayu Tuka Districts of Oromia.
- Piloting mini seed markets in Hararghe to solve seed marketing issues
BENEFIT-ISSD Ethiopia is engaged in many efforts to strengthen seed marketing. Here, the ISSD Oromia East unit shares lessons learnt in the latest innovative approach: mini-seed markets.
- Training on data collection for gender and nutrition in Tigray
ISSD Tigray Unit organized a training program on gender, nutrition, Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS), Crowd Sourcing (CS) and data collection and recording techniques.
- Regional seed core group on the road
The Amhara region seed core group members visited the project sites aimed in monitoring and evaluate of the status and implementation of the innovation projects and overall ISSD program Amhara unit activities. In line with this, presentations on the progress of project status, discussion on the overall project prestige and feedback on some obscurities wereContinue reading “Regional seed core group on the road”
- Amhara home to thriving community of women seed producers
ISSD and partners are realising ever more success when engaging with women seed producers.
- BENEFIT-ISSD National newsletter – July 2018
Download and read the latest national-level stories and updates from the programme over the first half of 2018.
- Collaboration for better impact: Strengthening malt barley producer cooperatives
On 25 July 2018 ISSD SNNPR in collaboration with CASCAPE SNNPR organized capacity enhancement training for malt barley platform members in three SPCS in Melga Woreda.
- Business planning for successful seed business
Training to strengthen business performance of SPCs
- Connecting farmers, experts and decision-makers – Training for gender-sensitive crowd-sourcing & PVS
“Now I know that PVS is not entirely done by experts, but it is an approach which equally involves farmers at the grassroots level to be researchers themselves”
- BENEFIT Partnership newsletter, January-June 2018.
This newsletter brings together highlights from the programmes within the BENEFIT Partnership.
- A new vision guiding seed sector transformation
A self-sufficient, independent, market-oriented and internationally competitive Ethiopian seed sector.
- Ethiopian universities reaching out for agricultural innovation
Beyond the seed sector innovations of ISSD Ethiopia, the wider BENEFIT Partnership and other partners’ activities are leading to widespread agricultural innovation across Ethiopia.
- ISSD Tigray Newsletter – June 2018
ISSD Ethiopia’s Tigray Unit shares news and exciting programme updates in this newsletter.
- ISSD Amhara newsletter, June 2018
Download and read exciting updates from ISSD’s Amhara unit.
- From workshop to woreda: Farmers’ on-farm financial management skills to receive a boost
Sustainable and successful seed sector development only happens when the entrepreneurial spirit and skills of farmers and other private sector stakeholders are leveraged for innovation and collaboration. Developing and nurturing these skills is a key aim of ISSD and partners.
- Farmers validating and promoting sorghum varieties across regions
BENEFIT-ISSD Ethiopia facilitates learning about variety suitability and farmers’ preferences across regions. Through participatory methods, farmers lead the testing and validation of varieties, with their experiences guiding variety development and deployment.
- Bringing quality seed to market: the journey to becoming an independent seed business
“We would never have got the Certificate of Competence if we had not got the training and support from ISSD” Ato Tesfaye Babiso, Chairperson – Fate Dicha SPC Lessons from the previous ISSD Ethiopia phase revealed that the local seed business (LSB) development approach (focusing on seed producer cooperatives, or SPCs) is gaining more recognitionContinue reading “Bringing quality seed to market: the journey to becoming an independent seed business”
- BENEFIT-ISSD Oromia East Unit – Regional Newsletter, June 2018
This (Oromo language, with English elements) newsletter presents recent activities and achievements of the regional team in the first half of 2018 across the various programme components Download the newsletter here
- BENEFIT collaboration strengthens research on sesame
BENEFIT partners jointly delivered training of trainers on production, management and marketing of sesame for agricultural researchers from May 28-30, 2018 at Gebar Shire Hotel, Shire town. A total of 22 researchers from Humera and Shire Maytsebri agricultural research centers which are established on the sesame potential areas took the training of trainers organized byContinue reading “BENEFIT collaboration strengthens research on sesame”
- Evaluating progress and identifying the way forward in Eastern Oromia
While much progress has been made through collaborative activities facilitated by ISSD Ethiopia, a multi-stakeholder session highlighted more needs to be done to strengthen the seed sector.
- Strengthening ISSD principles & approaches
BENEFIT–ISSD organized a three-day training on ISSD Guiding Principles and Approaches on April 17-19, 2018, in Bishoftu town for project staff from all regional project units.
- Seed quality assurance in SNNPR: Establishing the Agricultural Inputs Quality Control & Quarantine Authority
Seed quality is the most significant part for production and productivity. In SNNPR, the issue of maintaining seed quality had been one of serious issues from time to time that grabbed the attention of seed sector stakeholders.
- Effectiveness of seed quality assurance in Amhara region
The effectiveness of other inputs like fertilizer and irrigation depend largely on using quality seed. Several lines of evidence indicate that nearly 50% of crop productivity relies on the availability and utilization of quality seed.
- Crowdsourcing: A step forward on barley revival
Topographically Wereda Deguatenben is located in a high land part. Comparing to other ISSD operational weredas, it is suitable for cereals such barley and wheat.
- ISSD Technical note 5- Seed Enabling Environment Analysis
This ISSD Technical Note is the fifth in a series of 5 such Notes. It explains what an enabling environment is, why this is crucially important and further, how to assess the prevailing environment. Download the ISSD Technical Note
- ISSD Technical note 4 – Seed Intervention Landscape Analysis
This ISSD Technical Note is the fourth in a series of 5 such Notes. It discusses how to assess the seed intervention landscape, presenting technical guidance for design process. Download the ISSD Technical Note
- ISSD Technical note 3 -Seed value chain analysis
This ISSD Technical Note is the third in a series of 5 such Notes. It introduces and explains seed value chaing analysis as well as providing a useful tool to assist such analyses. Download the ISSD Technical Note
- ISSD Technical note 2 – Seed Systems Analysis
This ISSD Technical Note is the second in a series of 5 such Notes. It discusses the rationale and steps to complete successful and relevant seed systems’ analysis. Download the ISSD Technical Note
- ISSD Technical note 1 – Promoting Integrated Seed Sector Development
This ISSD Technical Note is the first in a series of 5 such Notes. It discusses the rationale and steps toward the forumulation of a national integrated seed sector. Download the ISSD Technical Note
- BENEFIT Collaboration: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
The BENEFIT projects conducted collaboration planning workshop between Amhara and Tigray units.
- ISSD Amhara Newsletter – January 2018
Read the January newsletter from the ISSD Amshara unit. In this issue you can read about crop and varierty promotion through crowdsourcing, efforts to enhance the supply of disease free potato seed and more. Download the newsletter here
- From freedom fighter to seed investor
Yohannes Girmay expands his horizons and business with a grant from BENEFIT-ISSD Ethiopia
- Crowdsourcing: A story of change on wheat
Adwa wereda is known for its cereal crop production specially wheat varieties. Some years ago, crop performance and production was good. Cultivation frequency, low use of agricultural inputs and repeated ploughs now leads to the fertility and production decline.
- ISSD Tigray conducts regional workshop on EGS
ISSD Tigray conducted regional workshop on the access of Early Generation Seed (EGS) in the presence of research institutions, government offices, project and NGOs on 22 December 2017 at Mekelle research center that is organized under the umbrella of Tigray Agricultural Research Institute (TARI). Read more here
- ISSD & BENEFIT partners organise soybean platform meeting
BENEFIT-ISSD, BENEFIT-CASCAPE (Jimma University) and BENEFIT-ENTAG Ethiopia programme has jointly organized 3rd Soybean platform meeting at Farm Land Hotel of Nekemte town on December 21/2017
- ISSD Tigray unit conducts consultative meeting on market linkages and quarantining
The meeting was initiated by ISSD Tigray unit private component in close collaboration with department of crop and horticultural science (DCHS)
- ISSD Tigray Newsletter – December 2017
Download and read the latest updates from ISSD in Tigray, including training on nutrtion and gender for our informal seed system work, and find out about the new seed store and laboratory with Hadinet Raya Seed Union Download the newsletter here
- Adaptation trial: A green light for sorghum renaissance
Read about how BENEFIT partners, including ISSD are collaborating on trials for new and improved varieties in Asgedetsimbla Wereda, Tigray Read more here
- ISSD Tigray Newsletter – November 2017
In this issue, you can read about our activities on boosting seed production, hosting a team from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and much more. Download the newsletter here
- Sharing progress with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
A team from the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy to Ethiopia visited BENEFIT, Hori-life and SNV (Netherlands Development Organization) projects sites from 19 to 20 November 2017.
- BENEFIT-ISSD Ethiopia National Newsletter – October 2017
Read our October newsletter to find out the latest updates, achievements and focus areas!
- PVS and Crowdsourcing focus during farmer field day in Oromia
ISSD conducted farmers’ field day on participatory varietal selection and crowd sourcing on pilot farms on August 30, 2017 at Lode Bamban Kebele of Sire woreda, Oromia South West.
- Seed Core group addresses key issues and plans for the way forward
The ISSD Oromia South West unit has conducted seed core group meeting on July 14, 2017 to discuss on the key issues relating to seed and specify the direction for the upcoming period.
- Collaborative efforts allow tackling the “virtually impossible” in Duresa LSB
ISSD and partner support to LSB in SNNPR leads to exciting achievements
- Super El Niño tests the resilience of Ethiopian seed systems
Swift collaborative action and capacity strengthening in informal seed systems key to increase security in the face of drought
- DSM: Time to move forward?
Direct seed marketing has been shown to contribute positively to farmers’ access to quality seed. Why then have we not moved beyond the pilot phase?
- Continued strategic interventions needed in seed value chain
Innovation-driven progress in seed value chains is constrained by capacity and cooperation shortages. Participatory assessments have created awareness for problems of a systemic nature, identified critical interventions needed to stimulate and build on innovation in seed value chains.
- Increasing food security through cooperatives in PSNP woredas
Chronic food and nutrition insecurity continues to affect many rural households. Seed producer cooperatives, supported by ISSD, are improving resilience in some of Ethiopia’s most food-insecure woredas.
- Bringing informal seed systems into focus
With the majority of farmers sourcing seed from informal systems, ISSD has in 2017 launched a new and wide-ranging package of activities to reach and support farmers and processes which have until now been out of focus.
- Preparing for crowdsourcing of farmer-preferred varieties in Tigray
The ISSD Ethiopia Programme’s Tigray unit completed a training on crowd sourcing and participatory varietal selection
- More than 600 participants attend field days in SNNPR
BENEFIT-ISSD organized field days in two of SNNPR woredas, Derashe & Kedida Gambela. The field day attracted more than 600 participants which were drawn from farmers project area, other villages, zonal heads of sector offices, technical staffs and project staffs were participants of the field days.
- ISSD Oromia East Newsletter – April 2017
Greetings to all our readers in Ethiopia and beyond! It is with a great pleasure that we present to you the first issue of the BENEFIT-ISSD project, Oromia east unit newsletter.