Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2015-2019

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Regional

Solutions: Economic Growth

The Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project (Seed Trade Project) is designed to increase the availability of high-quality seed of improved varieties to farmers in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to improve yields and increase food security and nutrition. The Seed Trade Project provides diverse assistance to implement the SADC Harmonized Seed Regulations (HSR) to foster seed trade across the region and integrate smaller and isolated national seed markets into a larger, more efficient SADC-wide seed market. The Seed Trade Project also helps policy-makers put in place the mechanisms needed to improve access to high-quality, affordable seed—allowing smallholder farmers and large private sector producers to grow more food at cheaper prices for consumers across the region.

Located in Gaborone, Botswana, Pretoria, South Africa, and Lusaka, Zambia, the Seed Trade Project supports activities in three Feed the Future focus countries: Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia; and is also active in Zimbabwe, an aligned Feed the Future country. However, many regional project activities will benefit all 15 SADC Member States. The Seed Trade Project provides targeted technical assistance to facilitate implementation of SADC’s Harmonized Seed Regulations (HSR).

Sample Activities

  • Promote SADC ownership of the harmonized seed regulations (HSR) process by strengthening national and regional institutions.
  • Build the capacity of the SADC Seed Centre to provide technical assistance to national agencies and engage the private sector.
  • Assist the SADC Seed Centre to develop a sustainable business model for HSR.
  • Support the development of SADC regional seed catalog, seed lot certification and SADC package labeling.
  • Synchronize assistance in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Seed Harmonisation Implementation Plan.
  • Transfer technology and management practices that prioritize and scale up regional variety registration and seed certification models.

Select Results

  • Established the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Seed Committee.
  • Drafted the Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants and the SADC Seed Centre Charter approved by the SADC Ministers of Agriculture.
  • Launched the Seed Control and Certification Institute Online Seed Lab in Zambia.
  • Completed the Regional Seed Supply and Demand Study.
  • Launched grant to the Association for the Promotion of the Seed Sector (APROSE), for the implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Harmonised Seed Regulatory System in Mozambique.


East and Southern Africa—FoodTrade ESA

From 2013 to 2018, FoodTrade worked at improving the functioning of national and regional staple food market systems for beans, maize, rice, and soybeans—crops that are critical for low-income consumers and smallholder farmers—across nine countries in East Africa.

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