AGRA support to ESA- a brief summary

The National policy and institutional environment has a strong impact on private seed sector investment to meet the needs of farmers for improved seed supply. The Ethiopian Seed Association (ESA) that support the interest of seed supplying companies has been granted project support from AGRA, policy and Advocacy program-MIRA project (Micro Reform for African Agriculture Business) to support local capacity to review, assess and reform policy and regulatory challenges that unintentionally limit the private seed sector investment in value chains of staple foods for smallholder farmers operating in Ethiopia. The project covered four main objectives and various activities that are currently under implementation.

 Considering the core activity of the project, AGRA contracted a consultant to assess and identify constraints of the private seed sector development in Ethiopia and produced evidence based study results that identified   private seed sector value chain   policy and institutional problems and recommended improvement/reform option. The findings have been communicated at national and regional states level workshop where concerned seed value chain actors and partners participated and improved the intervention options.  All members of the association (private, public, cooperative union) potential members, Agriculture Research, MoA, development partners (ISSD, AGRA, ICARDA, CYMMIT, FAO, BENEFT), Regional Agriculture Bureaus from the four National Regional States. Working group forums have also been organized on regional bases with key stakeholders and further selected priority  challenges of private seed sector investment that included marketing and distribution, Early Generation Seed supply (EGS), import-export, government support, institutional arrangements, collaboration and partnership, capacity building and strengthening the seed business environment,  tax exemption or incentive to private companies etc.

 Further policy dialogue forum has been organized with Ministry of Agriculture and decided   on the priority issues and intervention areas and the need for commitment and partnership of the national seed coordination body, regulatory body, and grass root implementing /administrative  bodies at regional and district levels and the seed companies for implementation and realizing the change in private seed sector investment and supply of high quality seed to the small farmers in Ethiopia. See also Pictures on different forums financed by AGRA.

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