28 Dec 2015
The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) has developed local market seed fairs to help farmers in Mozambique gain access to improved seeds and fertilisers.
The SEEDS project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, raises private sector investments from two commercial seed companies to provide expanded access to quality certified seeds for 10,000 smallholder farmers in Northern Mozambique.
On average only 10% of the 90,000 tons of seed planted in Mozambique every year is certified. The remaining 90% is grain retained retained by farmers from one year to the next. Another challenge for the country’s farmers is the need to travel on average 50 miles (80km) to the nearest seed store. Often by the time they arrive to the store seeds have already sold out. The seeds they buy are sometimes old a low-yielding variety or uncertified.
To address this, SEEDS identifies local entrepreneurs and supports them to create small businesses selling farmer-sized packets of seeds and inputs, training them in business management, marketing, advertising, branding, retail strategies and customer service. SEEDS agents' stores can be immediately identified in the communities by their distinctive green and SEEDS logo.
Photo: SEEDS fair in Mozambique