The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is currently implementing a five year Micro Reform for African Agriculture Business (MIRA) project in five countries including Ethiopia, which is designed to help to build the capacity of African governments to contentiously review and reform regulations that unintentionally limit private investment in local agribusinesses operating in Ethiopia.
As part of its support to Ethiopia, AGRA’s Policy and Advocacy Programme (PAP) provided a grant support to the Ethiopian Seed Association (ESA) to build local capacity in the improvement of the enabling environment for the private seed sector development in Ethiopia. In accordance, as part of the initial activities of the project, AGRA supported one study helps to identify key policies, regulations, administrative practices, institutional setups and any other investment disincentives such as duties and taxes, etc that limit the growth of private seed sector in Ethiopia and come up with viable set of reform solutions to address the challenges, and hence the draft study was submitted for which a one day validation workshop was organized on Mach 3, 2018, to evaluate the draft document report in a wider stakeholder forum as feed back to the study to get finalized.
Chairperson of ESA, Mr. Melaku Admassu, welcomed the participants and acknowledged the support of MIRA AGRA project, emphasized the focus of the workshop and highlighted the challenges faced. Mr. Mengesha Tadesse, AGRA- MIRA National Coordinator at ATA, also summarized AGRA’s support to the Ethiopian agriculture and introduced the background and objectives of the grant support to the Ethiopian Seed Association. Then, key findings of the study related to priority challenges and recommendations were presented based on which the stakeholders/participants thoroughly discussed on the specific presentation followed by group discussion that improved the recommendations.
Objectives of the workshop:
- to share the draft study to the stakeholders who contributed their input in the data collection stages
- to collect feedback and inputs to further refine the recommendations, the priority policy and regulatory challenges and alternative solutions, focusing on issues that encourage local and foreign seed companies to invest in the seed sector that subsequently strengthen the seed business and facilitate the supply of certified seed to small holder farmers.
- to validate and finally agree on problems those need to be reformed and reach on a consensus on the impact/significance of the reform on the development of the national seed industry.
A total of 40 stakeholders that included members of the Ethiopian Seed Association, Cooperative Unions, policy makers from Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources and experts from four National Regional States and from the development partners (BENEFIT-ISSD, ICARDA, AGRA, ATA and CYMMIT, FAO, Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity, Ethiopian Agriculture Research Institute) attended and thoroughly discussed internal and external issues and identified recent challenges in the sector which should be covered in the recommendation.
Ethiopian Seed Association (ESA) organized its Annual General Assembly in Addis Ababa on December 26, 2016 to assess its progress, share national seed sector development experiences in the public and private sector in the area of production, processing and marketing and identify challenges and set strategic focuses for further action. The conference was under taken with the financial support of ISSD under the thematic area of “Ensuring quality seed supply for improved crop production and productivity“. 55 participants were available on the conference, the composition of which includes members, nonmember companies, research, development partners including BENEFIT-ISSD team, coop unions etc.
Welcome speech was made by Mr. Melaku Admassu, Board Chairman of ESA. where he highlighted the objectives of the workshop, the progress of ESA and its future focus in the development of the seed sector. He highlighted the need for strengthening the technical services to its members and the industry, improve communication through electronics and various channels, organize appropriate seed training programs and workshops for members, support/strengthen institutional linkages between private sector and different stakeholders in the seed value chain Strengthening the Association’s global seed contacts, partnership, joint venture etc. and make a ESA financially sustainable.
The conference was officially addressed by His Excellency, State Minster, MOANR, Ato Tesfaye Mengistu. His Excellency appreciated the effort of such association that focuses to address one of the critical challenges of crop production and productivity that small hold farmers are facing today as seed contributes about 50% of crop productivity, so the need to work hard to realize the GTP II target in agriculture significantly lies on seed sector. His Excellency underlined the importance of the forum to address such critical challenges of small holder farmers as smallholders’ agriculture will also continue to be the major source of agricultural growth and the share of private sector is also expected to rise as one of the sources of agriculture growth in the country. And hence, he underscored members of the association are expected to strengthen their capacity and avail quality seed to the growing demand of this development sector, where he appreciated the effort of ESA to undertake such action in such annual conference.
Different papers with valuable information were shared on the forum on the following titles:
- Progress of ESA and its strategic focus
- Role of AFSTA in the African seed industry in particular to Ethiopia
- Variety development and early generation seed status in Ethiopia
- Progress in the Ethiopia seed law and regulation and in the regional seed trade harmonization
- Seed marketing opportunities and challenges in Ethiopia
- Opportunities and challenges of agriculture input distribution: Oromia experiences
- Status of MNLD diseases and its challenges in maize seed system
- ISSD contribution to the commercial seed sector
- Availability and advantage of microfinance in the national seed system
The conference summarized the critical priority issues that need to be resolved at national seed policy level, at ESA level and at company level in order for the private seed sector to play a meaningful role in the development of the Ethiopia seed industry. In order to realize the efforts, it was noted that,
- Individual companies are expected to pay serious attention in managing their seed business especially in the production, processing and marketing of their products.
- ESA board members have to seriously look through the policy and institutional issues agreed in the conferences and take it forward.
- The policy issues could be shared with concerned stake holders and brought to the attention of the MoANR for final action.
- ESA has to organize its human resources and follow the decision of the conferences with strict time bound activity.
ESA has hybrid maize seed production manual to be used by its members and partners. The manual covers pictorial presentation of the field operation, disease and insect pest management and seed quality standards that help to be competitive in the supply of quality seed to farmers. The association believes that the manual will help seed producers to use better seed production technologies so that maize farmers benefit from the high genetic potential of the hybrid they grow. The association will continue producing similar manual for the economical import crops.
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Tagged Bacterial diseases, BH-540, BH-660, ESA, Field Insect Pests, Field Insect Pests of Maize, Fungal diseases, Hybrid Maize, Hybrid Maize Seed Production, Kernels, Maize, Maize Disease, Quality Assurance, Synchronization, Virus diseases
ISSD Ethiopia programme arranged two successive workshops on seed marketing and internal quality control for private and public seed enterprises from September 1-6, 2014 at Dreamliner hotel, Addis Ababa.
The main objectives of the forum was to create awareness among ESGPA’s members on the Ethiopian seed law and regulation and to give feedback to the regulatory body to support the production and timely supply of high quality seed to farmers and to encourage the companies to involve in national and regional seed business. http://www.issdethiopia.org/index.php/news-events/192-esa
This video shows the involvement of private seed producers and seed companies in Direct Seed Marketing in Ethiopia.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 22, 2014-Ethiopian Seed Association (ESA) in collaboration with Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Ethiopia program arranged one-day awareness creation forum for small-scale private seed producers at Dreamliner hotel, Addis Ababa….for full story visit the ISSD Ethiopia link down