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

HaSSP Second Season Community Seed Production in Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia
15 May 2012

The second season of the Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) Community Seed Production in Kapiri Mposhi looks even brighter than the first season. The two associations in the area, Pache Pache and Kapiri Mposhi Seed Growers Association started off as a group of 50 smallholder seed producers in 2010, and this season the number is down to 38 members, 2 members were lost to death and 10 were technically disqualified as seed producers. However, the area under seed production has increased and the number of seed crop has gone up too. The associations have planted: a) beans (Lyambai: 6ha and Kabulangeti: 2.0ha); b) maize (MMV 415: 0.5ha and MMV 420: 0.5ha), and; c) groundnuts (MGV 4: 7.3ha) this season. The fields are looking good and the farmers are almost sure that their harvest will pass through the certification process.

The Seed Farmers Perspective

The community attributes this success to the support provided by FANRPAN through the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI); they believe that they have progressed as a community through the inputs and training provided, information and knowledge shared.

Talking to seed farmers from the two associations, the project mid-term review team heard about how the farmers have learnt about producing seed ranging from isolation distances, lodging and grading. Ms. Musonje, a farmer from Pache Pache, alluded to the fact that as smallholder farmers, they got to understand the importance of storing seed and how the seed must be taken for re-testing once it has been stored for a while.

The association members find it quite beneficial being part of the associations as they see it as a platform for information and knowledge sharing. They also find it easy to market their produce as a group and the support from HaSSP is perceived as much more meaningful amongst the group.

They mentioned that they have always been growing seed maize and HaSSP presented an opportunity for them to produce legumes, which has not only increased their production through their inputs but also the fact that they fetch higher profits than maize. Other than production expertise, the members also mentioned that HaSSP is assisting with community food security, as there were households that were quite poor who could not pull themselves out of poverty but through the project and the community support they have managed to support themselves.

A view from the support services (SCCI and District Agriculture Control Office)

Kapiri Mposhi is an agricultural community that is determined to commercialise agriculture, therefore HaSSP came at the right time. The project continues to produce and promote quality seeds in the Kapiri Mposhi community; this has improved access to seed in the community while also assisting the seed producers in improving their livelihoods. The Seed growers are showing signs of maturity where they do not only depend on the project for inputs but are also taking the initiative to buy basic seed from their own pockets; the project did not supply basic maize seed. However, nearly all the seed growers have produced maize seed.

Some of the lessons learnt by the current implementers of the project include managing stakeholders' relations. Dr. Miti alludes to the fact that if all relevant stakeholders are not moving at the same pace this can hamper progress in the project, therefore acknowledges the importance of two way communication for the success of the project.

Packaging, Marketing and Pricing

The seed producers had challenges packaging their first harvest as they could not seal their packaging. Therefore the seed growers mostly sold their seed to the local community without proper packaging. For the current season, assistance is underway to get a sealer in order for the seed producers to penetrate markets beyond the immediate community. The Kapiri Mposhi seed producers are confident that they can market and price their own seed produce as they have been adequately trained in marketing and pricing.

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