The Private Seed Sector Development (PSSD) project aims to double the production and incomes of 108,000 farmer households in Burundi. KIT is working with private and public sector partners to promote the development of a private sector-led seed industry that is able to provide farmers with sustainable access to high-quality seed and agricultural advisory services. PSSD is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi.
Food & nutrition security in Burundi
Food and nutrition security is low in Burundi; only 28% of the population is food secure, and over 50% of the population is chronically malnourished. At the same time, the demand for affordable food is increasing with population growth; currently Burundian households spend over two-thirds of their income on food.
Sustainable intensification of the production of food crops for the domestic market can replenish current national food deficits and offer economic opportunity for producers. Since 1993, the per capita agricultural production has declined to 24%. To sustain the growing population with ample nutritious food, a significant increase in land, nutrient, and water use efficiency is required.
The good news is that this is possible. High-quality seed is the basic ingredient of sustainable agricultural intensification. A well-functioning seed sector is essential to ensure producers have access to diversified quality seed of market-desired varieties, adapted to different climatic conditions prevalent in the country.
Over the last 15 years, Burundi has transformed its seed sector from public sector to private entrepreneur driven. PSSD seeks to rapidly grow the market for quality seed and firmly establish commercial seed production and marketing in Burundi as a self-sustaining business.
Seed system innovation
The project incentivises and supports Burundian and international seed companies to pilot innovations related to seed production and sales. The project will focus on the development of sales strategies that are tailored to farmer household requirements, including:
- The sale of seeds in micro-packs.
- Development of last-mile distribution capabilities such as rural points of sales and mobile sales agents.
- Micro-demonstration plots.
- Consumer education-focused communication strategies tailored to farmers.
- Development of specialized promotional materials tailored to farmers.
Increasing production efficiencies
PSSD will furthermore support initiatives to improve the business-enabling environment to foster the development of a private sector-led seed industry in Burundi. Work will include:
- Strengthening of the Burundian national seed producer association.
- Facilitation of dialogue between public and private sector stakeholders on seed sector-relevant regulations in order to promote policy and regulatory coherency.
- Promotion of seed distribution strategies that help, rather than hinder, the development of a private sector-led seed industry in Burundi.
- Increasing the efficiency and sustainability of seed certification and packaging processes.
- Improving knowledge transfer between research institutions and the private sector to ensure that technologies are transferred from lab to farm.
Integrated Seed Sector Development Burundi
PSSD builds on the experiences and achievements of the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Burundi project, implemented by IFDC, KIT, and partners from September 2014 to August 2018.
ISSD Burundi resulted in:
- A 234% increase in the number of registered commercial seed producers from 249 to 833.
- Tried, tested, and tailored capacity building and material assistance to support ambitious seed producers to grow their business.
- Improved methodologies for the promotion of the use of high-quality seed though seed extension and seed marketing.
- Improved availability of early generation seed for seed producers through a pre-ordering system, in which 48% of the registered active seed producers participated.
- More than doubling of maize, potato, and bean yields among IFDC targeted farmers through intensification of production, combining the use of fertilizer, quality seed, and good agricultural practices.
- An increase in the availability of market-desired superior varieties; 48 varieties were registered (maize: 11, beans: 10, banana: 6, potato: 6, rice: 15).