Press Release: Harmonized Seed Security (HaSSP) - Zambia

Background of Project: 
What was the need for the project?
A major constraint to agricultural productivity and food security in SADC is an inadequate supply of high quality seed due to climatic, economic and human factors. In years of seed shortage member states need to import seeds from neighbouring countries. However, this process can be complicated because laws and regulations are disjointed. The implementation of the SADC Harmonized Seed Regulatory System will make a significant difference to the region, culminating in a larger SADC market for seed. On February 2010, SADC ministers of agriculture approved the protocol for regional harmonization of seed policies. 

The Donor: 
The project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) from January 2010 to December 2013. 

FANRPAN project Intervention: 
This pilot project for SADC is implemented by the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in four SADC Member States. It seeks to provide an enabling environment to domesticate the regional seed protocol, harmonize seed policies and legislation and implement the provisions of the protocol with enhanced national capacities. The four pilot countries are: Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

FANRPAN makes use of the following instruments to achieve this goal:

  • Policy dialogue platforms
  • Policy research and advocacy
  • Provision of technical assistance to review national policy and legislation on seed
  • Capacity strengthening of key institutions and individuals involved in critical stages of the seed value chain
  • Monitoring and evaluation

The Zambia Story:

  • A seed producing community has been established in Kapiri Mposhi district. The farmers are growing one maize variety ZM 521 and two groundnut varieties: Chishango and MGV 4.
  • HaSSP Consultants conducted an audit of the seed certification institute (Seed Control and Certification Institute-SCCI) in Zambia during the period 28th February to 3rd of March 2011. The objective of the audit was to enable FANRPAN to identify human capacity/knowledge gaps and training needs in Zambia.
  • HaSSP conducted a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Training workshop from the 13th - 14th of December 2010 in Kabwe to sensitize the 17 participants on M&E concepts as well as to develop an M&E framework for the project in Zambia.
  • FANRPAN was subcontracted by AFSTA to conduct baseline studies under Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA's) COMRAP project in each of the four pilot countries. A baseline study was conducted on the seed sector of Zambia. A report was submitted detailing current requirements for variety release and registration; standards for seed certification; phytosanitary measures; plant variety protection; seed import/export documentation and procedures; as well as membership to international organizations.
  • The Zambia FANRPAN node (Agricultural Consultative Forum-ACF) coordinated by Mr Masiye Nawiko organized a HaSSP planning workshop attended by 37 stakeholders in the seed business including ACTESA. The workshop was officiated by the Permanent Secretary of Agriculture and Cooperatives: Mr A K Banda. The purpose of the workshop was to develop a plan for Zambia to harmonize its policies, legislation and systems with SADC protocols on seed.
  • The national work plan developed by stakeholders in Lusaka was reviewed in Pretoria during a HaSSP Regional Planning and Budget Meeting conducted from the 10th to the 11th of August 2010 where a regional action plan was developed.
  • The two seed elders in Zambia are Dr Samson Simbarashe Mundia, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and Mr Winter Chibasa, former Managing Director of ZAMSEED.

The Field Day: 
The field trip will be held at Likumbi, Kapiri Mposhi: About 70km from Kapiri Mposhi Boma 8h00 on 20 April 2011. (Programme attached). The field day will showcase:

  • Importance of HaSSP to the farming community of Zambia, especially in seed production
  • Good management practices of the seed crop
  • Advertising the seed crop, especially to seed companies who are interested in purchasing the seed
  • Appreciation of the funding from the Swiss Development Co-operation