[Originally published in PABRA news blog]

Strong seed systems are essential to ensure farmers can access quality seed and new crop varieties.

Across Sub-Saharan Africa, the seed systems that feed bean production are unable to meet farmers’ needs, especially when compared to more commercial crops, such as maize.

This week (2 December 2014) a new project was launched that will commercialise bean seed supply in Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda and change the status quo.

Twenty researchers, business leaders and development workers gathered in Nairobi to launch the new partnership and develop a project work plan.

Supported by the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), project partners include: bean researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), under the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA), HarvestPlus and national bean programmes in Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda; private seed companies Seed Co and Bubayi Products Limited; crop insurance provider ACRE Africa; and development partner One Acre Fund.

The project was officially launched by Dr. Felister Makini, Deputy Director General, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).

She joins Dr. Ian Baker, Head of Agricultural Partnerships, SFSA, and JC Rubyogo, Seed Systems Specialist, CIAT, in this short film to explain what the project will do and how it will benefit smallholder farmers