A joint effort of the Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources (MoANR) and the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) launched a new organization known as Seed Unit to curb the challenges in improved seed distribution that have led to the decreased use of improved seeds amongst farmers. The unit, which has four members from the MoNAR and ATA, is responsible for the research to identify problems plaguing the entire seed production and distribution system. The seed system refers to the activities of developing, producing and distributing seeds to smallholder farmers. Along with water and fertilizers, seeds are the fundamental ingredients for better agricultural productivity.

“The unit was mainly established to minimize the demand and supply gap of improved seeds coupled with its distribution constraints,” said Seifu Assefa, director of agriculture input marketing at the ministry. “There was no formal body to coordinate and organize the seed production and distribution system, and the new unit will put such an institution in place.”

The unit was established after the newly developed strategy dubbed Seed System Development Strategy released by the MoANR through ATA’s facilitation. It reviews the entire value chain system of the seeds starting from germination until they reach the farmers’ hands.

“We will officially launch the strategy in a month’s time,” said Seifu.