Press Release: Harmonized Seed Security (HaSSP) - Zimbabwe


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 Zimbabwe Story:

  • A seed producing community has been established in Zaka district-Masvingo province. The farmers have grown groundnut and sugar bean seed for the 2010-2011 growing season.
  • HaSSP Consultants conducted an audit of the seed certification institute (Seed Services-) in Zimbabwe during the period 14 - 17 March 2011. The objective of the audit was to enable FANRPAN to identify human capacity/knowledge gaps and training needs in Zimbabwe.
  • HaSSP conducted a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Training workshop from the 13th - 14th of January 2011 in Masvingo to sensitize the 13 participants on M&E concepts as well as to develop an M&E framework for the project in Zimbabwe.
  • 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 Zimbabwe. 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 Zimbabwe FANRPAN node (Agricultural Research Council) under the leadership of Dr Isiah Mharapara, organized a HaSSP planning workshop attended by 51 stakeholders in the seed business including Food and Agriculture Organization - FAO. The workshop was officiated by Mr N Masoka, the Permanent Secretary of Agriculture and Mechanization. The purpose of the workshop was to develop a plan for Zimbabwe to harmonize its policies, legislation and systems with SADC protocols on seed.
  • The national work plan developed by stakeholders in Harare 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 Zimbabwe are Dr Samuel African Center for Fertilizer Development (ACFD) and Mr Liberty Mhlanga former Director of Agricultural Development Association (ARDA).

The Field Day: 
The field trip will be held at Fuve/Panganai Irrigation Scheme on 28 April 2011. The field day will showcase:

  • Importance of HaSSP to the farming community of Zimbabwe, 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