‘It responds to all our questions’: Secretary General of the Malian Ministry on the Launch of National Seed Roadmaps 


November was a significant month for the ISSD Sahel project in Mali and Niger. Along with the respective Ministries of Agriculture and seed trade associations of both countries, ISSD Sahel officially presented the National Seed Roadmaps for Mali and Niger. 

Thirty-two percent of the Nigerien population and 21 per cent of the Malian population still struggle with food and nutrition insecurity. Sustainable intensification of food crop production can address this and, at the same time, provide economic opportunities. To this end, high-quality seeds are essential.

This Roadmap, an integral part of the Integrated Seed Sector Development Project in the Sahel (ISSD/Sahel), describes the ambitions for the national seed sector and the possible ways to get there by building partnerships and tackling current constraints. 

The first launch took place in Bamako, Mali on 14 and 15 November 2022 in the presence of the Ministry of Rural Development of Mali and ASSEMA (Association Semencière du Mali). And at the launch, the Secretary General of the Ministry said that, “The Malian government set food security as one of its highest priorities. It means increasing the food production and there is no way to increase productivity without quality seed. This important document comes at the best moment and it responds to all of our questions about access to good quality seed of staple food crops. In the name of the minister of rural development. I thank ISSD Sahel for this document that will help us a lot”. 

During this launch over 50 stakeholders from the public and private sectors discussed how to move forward and incorporate the findings into their activities.

The Road Map was then presented in Niamey, Niger on the 21 and 22 November 2022. Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and APPSN (Association des Producteurs Privés de Semences du Niger) attended the launch. The document and the process were well received by all the stakeholders present here as well.

I have been working with seeds for more than three decades, and this is my first time to participate in a workshop where I can freely express my opinion and see that it is taken into account while speaking in my native language. What I hear includes all the seed sector actors. This is a complete and inclusive document!” said a seed producer present at the launch.

These documents were the result of a multi-stakeholder, interactive and iterative process to define the strategic innovation pathways of different components of the seed sector: seed production, commercialization and use of seeds, available (financial) services including variety development, certification and regulatory processes and governance. 

“I was very pleased by the enthusiasm of the participants in both countries. It was a big achievement; well received by the seed sector actors in Mali and Niger,” remarked Marthe Diallo, an Advisor at KIT who presented the documents.

Our process is supported by an extensive literature review that contains the historical and regulatory framework of each country, and a set of crop briefs that contain key information on the production and constraints of target crops such as maize, rice, millet, sorghum, cowpea, groundnut and vegetables. 

The development of the documents was embedded in the Integrated Seed Sector Development Project in the Sahel (ISSD Sahel), which has the overall objective to improve the food and nutritional security of rural and urban households, rural employment and rural household incomes in Mali and Niger.  In this context, the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR) guided the assessment of the seed sector.