Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

African Christian College - a Certified Seed Producer through HaSSP
15 May 2012

The first year of the Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) saw the African Christian College (ACC) moving from grain farming to certified seed producers. The journey started when HaSSP was launched in Swaziland in 2010.

The College received training and inputs like fertilizer and maize seed initially from the project and went on to plant 3 hactres of land, planting the ZM309 OPV maize crop. With the support from the Seed Quality Control Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, the ACC managed to go through the process of producing seed, where the unit assisted with seed processing, hiring of sheller and cleaning of maize at the end of harvesting. 'Seed production is a specialised field within farming, not every farmer can produce seed. We learnt how hard and involving seed production is, but the support from the HaSSP project made the journey of seed production a smooth one' says Mr Mhango, a Smallholder Farmer at the African Christian College.

In order to realise HaSSP's goal of increasing the availability of and access to quality affordable seed to smallholder farmers for improved food security of smallholders, the college sold 7.8 tons of their harvest to local smallholder farmers through Farm Chemicals.

For the second season, the ACC used proceeds from their first harvest to buy inputs for planting and are now about to harvest. However, storage of their harvest is at the moment a challenge as they do not have proper storage before their maze is taken for processing.

Through the HaSSP project, the smallholder farmers involved in the ACC seed production have gained valuable knowledge and skills and appreciate the importance of keeping the fields clean and well planted for seed production, says Mr Mhango.

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