Malawi Seed Revolving Fund model wins accolades

Leading genotypes selected by farmers in Malawi and Zambia through participatory variety selection. Photos: ICRISAT

The Seed Revolving Fund model developed by ICRISAT (see box) for improving groundnut and pigeonpea seed systems in Malawi was recognized for making a significant impact in the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, especially women.

Limited access to quality seed of improved, high-yielding and early maturing varieties of groundnut and pigeonpea had resulted in low productivity and poor cash incomes for farmers. The model was developed to address the issue and involved public and private partners at each stage of the seed value chain. In a span of six years through the Malawi Seed Industry Development Project (MSIDP) there was an eight-fold increase in the supply of legume certified seed from 270 tons to 2,405 tons.

Recognizing the organization’s contribution in working together with partners to improve smallholder farm productivity, food security and incomes through provision of high quality seed, the Seed Trade Association of Malawi (STAM) awarded a certificate and a trophy to ICRISAT.

“ICRISAT is a role model for other agricultural institutions in the country. Through ICRISAT’s initiatives, legume seed of improved varieties particularly groundnut and pigeonpea have been made available in the market and are easily accessible to farmers,” said Mr Nesimu Nyama, Secretary General, Seed Trade Association of Malawi.

The awards were presented to Dr Moses Siambi, ICRISAT Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa and Dr Patrick Okori, Principal Scientist – Groundnut Breeding and incumbent Country Representative for Malawi.

At the awards ceremony, Dr Siambi was also awarded a certificate and trophy for his contribution during his tenure as Malawi Country Representative in developing a viable legume seed system that contributed enormously to the Government of Malawi’s flagship, the Farm Input Subsidy Program. The program is one of the distribution channels for fertilizer and certified seeds of selected legume and maize to smallholder farmers at subsidized prices.

STAM was formed in 2004 with the aim of influencing and strengthening policies and regulations that guide the seed trade in Malawi.

ICRISAT-Malawi staff celebrate the achievement along with Dr Okori, Dr Siambi and STAM representatives. Photos: ICRISAT, Malawi

ICRISAT-Malawi staff celebrate the achievement along with Dr Okori, Dr Siambi and STAM representatives. Photos: ICRISAT, Malawi

For more information on the Seed Revolving Fund in Malawi, see http://annualreport.icrisat.org/.

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