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Development of Sustainable Groundnut Seed Systems in West Africa   
Technical Guides
Annual Report
Bulletin Board
Groundnut Seed Project
Groundnut supply & demand
Development of sustainable Groundnut seed systems
Project Related Institutions
Workshop - May 2003
Overview of Groundnut
Groundnut Seed Production Systems in
Grountnut Varieties recommended by GGP for West and Central Africa

1. Project Background

The Consultative Committee considered this proposal at its 28th Meeting and noted that groundnuts represent an important commodity for nutrition and for generating cash income to farmers, as well as contributing to soil fertility through nitrogen fixation in the soil. It was also noted that there is an ongoing CFC financed project for improving Groundnut Germplasm in West Africa, which had already achieved some laudable results ready for dissemination. The proposal was presented as a follow-up to the ongoing project, which has the objective of reversing the declining trend in the productivity of groundnut farming in West Africa. The aim of disseminating improved seeds developed largely under the ongoing project to farmers is, therefore, considered relevant and laudable. However, the project design needed to be reviewed with a view to making it more representative of all interested regions in a cost-effective way. The dissemination component of the project should also include Eastern and Southern Africa regions. The cost of the project was considered high and should be reduced, particularly expenditure items such as vehicles, civil works and personnel. The follow-up project should rely mainly on local capacity with limited international expertise assistance.

During its Thirtieth meeting held in July 2002 the Committee noted that the revised proposal addressed the major concerns raised at its Twenty-Eighth meeting. The Committee was informed of the terminal workshop of the previous Common Fund project and its completion in June 2002. The revised proposal focused on the utilisation and uptake of the improved groundnut varieties; improvement of the skills of the farmers and other entrepreneurs in seed production, delivery, processing and marketing; and information dissemination. The total cost of the project had been reduced and the project was utilising the assets of the previous project, thus effecting savings in cost of vehicles and equipment. The project was now relying on local expertise with backstopping from two experts from ICRISAT and from consultants. Noting the importance of developing a sustainable seed development and distribution system in other parts of Africa, the Committee recommended including an additional workshop covering Eastern and Southern Africa to strengthen the dissemination component. For sustainability of the project it was essential to accord a larger role to the private sector keeping the national policies regarding seed production and distribution in view.

A modified proposal, incorporating the recommendations of the Committee, was recommended for approval.

The Executive Board approved the project as contained in document CFC/EB/34/20 with a grant of SDR 1,595,897 (Decision EB/XXXIV/13).

2. Project Objectives

Development of sustainable groundnut seed systems in West Africa

Raison d'etre

  • Groundnut an important commodity for nutrition and cash income
  • A follow-up program to disseminate technologies developed from GGP
  • Lack of sustainable seed systems to produce and deliver high quality seed
  • In conformity with the development strategy of IGG-OOF

Project description

  • Builds on achievements of GGP 
  • A range of improved varieties available
  • A range of groundnut germplasm assembled and conserved
  • Enhanced capacity in  genetic resources management and utilization


  1. Improve the livelihoods of  farmers through uptake of seed of high yielding groundnut
  2. varieties and promotion of sustainable seed systems in West Africa


  • Promote utilization and uptake of improved groundnut varieties responding to  market requirements trough the development of sustainable
  • community based seed production and distribution systems
  • Promote measures to minimize Aflatoxin contamination
  • Improve skills of farmers and other entrepreneurs in seed production, delivery, processing, marketing and small enterprise management
  • Improve the flow of information between producers and market intermediaries

Project Components

1. Promote utilization and uptake of improved varieties
2. Minimize the risks from Aflatoxin contamination
3. Improve skills among farmers and other entrepreneurs
4. Information dissemination
5. Project management, coordination and monitoring


Component 1

  • Groundnut varieties meeting market standards
  • Sustainable breeder and foundation seed supply to cover 20% of the area
  • Alternative seed supply strategies
  • Linkages between producers and processors established
  • Impact of improved varieties measured

Component 2

  • Agronomic practices to reduce Aflatoxin contamination demonstrated
  • User friendly diagnostic tool kits adapted to local conditions
  • Better harvesting and storage technologies extended

Component 3

Relevant stakeholders trained in:

  • Seed production and variety maintenance
  • Post-harvest crop management
  • Impact assessment
  • Marketing and small business management

Component 4

Information flow enhanced through:

  • Workshops, and training manuals
  • Brochures in local languages, radio messages
  • Village/community level workshops 
  • Databases on markets, grades and standards, demand and supply etc

Project management


  • Project coordination Committee meetings organized Meetings
  • Annual work programs


  • Implementation progress reports


  • Annual monitoring missions by SB


  • Mid-and end of project evaluation

Verifiable indicators

  • Number of improved groundnut varieties selected and adopted in target areas
  • Area planted to new varieties 
  • The level of aflatoxin contamination reduced in target areas
  • Sustainable community based seed schemes available
  • Non participating countries experimenting with seed production and distribution schemes developed
  • Appropriate market grades and standards applied
  • Number of farmers who have acquired skills in seed production techniques
  • Number of small seed enterprises established

Key assumptions

  • Supportive policy and legal regulatory environment to private sector development
  • Stable political environment
  • Favorable market conditions for groundnut products
  • Favorable climatic conditions
  • Flexible seed laws

Key features

  • A purely demand or market driven approach as opposed to research driven agenda 
  • New strategic partnerships (private sector, NGOs, farmer organizations and policy makers)
  • Full integration or complementarily of formal and informal seed production activities
  • Demand driven activities imply a strong market orientation including the understanding of market forces operating at local, regional and international level


  • A phased approach, experimental in character 
  • Pilot activities in a limited number of representative locations
  • Evaluate experiences gained through and scale-in-out successful interventions
  • Build maximum collaboration with all stakeholder involved or potentially interested in groundnut seed production

The way forward

  • Identify key locations for pilot interventions
  • Identify market niches 
  • Match available varieties to identified niches
  • Establish strategic partnerships with traders and processors, farmer associations and individual entrepreneurs
  • Together with farmers design and implement variety testing and demonstration
  • Identify and train entrepreneurs for foundation seed production
  • Identify distribution channels including rural stockists
  • Improve linkages of producers to markets
  1. Group marketing
  2. Contracting
  3. Collection points
  • Develop and distribute relevant production and market information