Enabling transformative partnerships and knowledge for better farm productivity and higher income – East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer, IFDC

Frequently asked question

Host Organisation:

East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer, IFDC


The use of improved crop varieties and better farming practices not only boosts smallholder farmers’ income in rural areas but can have a huge impact on nutrition. However, in many rural communities, farmers still struggle with poor yields, and crop and vegetable production is rarely positioned as the profitable and sustainable business it can and should be.

This session presents perspectives from two organisations aiming to catalyse transformative partnerships for positive change in agricultural markets. IFDC leads the Private Seed Sector Development (PSSD) project in Burundi. The project leverages a unique ‘diamond’ approach to partnership building with key stakeholders, which has enabled systemic changes in the seed system and created new demand for quality seed of improved varieties. The presenters explain how these changes have come about through an intensive process of multistakeholder engagement and facilitation, and which gaps still remain.

To catalyse the growth of local markets, East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer supports long-term programs aimed at enhancing farmers’ production capacity. EWS invests in peer-led, field-based approaches which put farmers on a positive path of change. The session will detail how local experience to used to ensure farming communities are empowered with the most appropriate context-specific knowledge. In addition to looking at how EWS generates technical knowledge and market-related information, presenters will explore how this is then shared through a network of key farmers and local stakeholders.

Participants will be asked to reflect on how these initiatives can potentially add further value and deepen the sustainability of their work through, for example, more focus on inclusivity and the scaling-up of positive partnerships. What more can be done?


  • Stuart Morris, Director of East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer
  • Sylvie Desilles, Knowledge Manager of East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer
  • Johann Bonnand, Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen University & Research (TBC!)
  • Bastian Huesken, Deputy Regional Director East and Southern Africa,
  • Cyriaque Simbashizubwoba, Chief of Party, PSSD Project, IFDC