A capture of the ICRISAT digital seed roadmap.
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), an international agricultural research organization has launched modern digital seed ‘catalog’ and seed ‘roadmap’ tool to enable famers access information about the quality and availability of seeds in one click.
This innovative tool will ultimately enable farmers in several African countries to access seed varietal information quickly and help them plan seed production over a long period.
The online catalog provides information on all seed varieties available nationally and regionally over a long period.
It comes at a time reports indicate that in sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farmers still face challenges in obtaining good quality seeds on time, mainly due to lack of access to information about them.
To address this need, ICRISAT’s Digital Agriculture team, as part of the HOPE II and Tropical Legumes III projects, has created an online seed catalog and a digital seed roadmap tool.
At the national level, seed roadmaps enable governments, small-scale seed producers and the private sector to plan, produce, monitor and provide quality seed to smallholders, no matter what the locality.
Both the seed catalog and digital seed roadmap are now available to actors and stakeholders in the seed system.
However, no tool is effective until the stakeholders actively adopt it and use it as part of their regular tasks.
With this in mind, ICRISAT, through the various projects, is organising a series of workshops to demonstrate the use of the tool to various seed system stakeholders including extension workers and staff of research institutes and seed companies.
“The common goal is access to quality seeds, in adequate quantity and in a timely manner by smallholders, which is important for the transformation of agriculture in Africa,” said Dr. Aboubacar Touré, ICRISAT sorghum breeder.