In Niger, new varieties of pearl millet and legumes have been identified that give farmers advantages in terms of yield, crop yield stability, resistance to major pests and diseases, and grain micro-nutrient density. However, seed quantities produced are still low when compared to the quantities required to sow at least 25% of the country’s cropped areas with improved variety seeds. More widespread adoption by pearl millet and legume producers requires a focused effort on outreach accompanied by dynamic breeding programs to achieve the measurable gains in food security that are urgently required.Building on the success of and lessons learned from the two previous phases of the CCRP-funded Seed Systems project in West Africa, this project increases the utilization of improved seeds and other technologies to enhance the resilience of rural communities in Niger, and thereby complements the current CCRP projects on seed systems, sorghum, and millet.
Building on the success of and lessons learned from the two previous phases of the CCRP-funded Seed Systems project in West Africa, the purpose of this request is to increase the utilization of improved seeds and other technologies to enhance the resilience of rural communities in Niger. This will complement the CCRP-funded Seed Systems III project in Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as the breeding work that is also on-going under the WAf CoP. Specific objectives are: (1) To identify institutional and social measures that contribute, limit, and/or sustain farmer managed seed enterprises; (2) To identify tools, marketing and communication approaches for use by farmer-managed seed enterprises that enhance uptake of new varieties of traditional cereal and legume crops by small-scale farmers in Niger; and (3) To identify and understand gender-relevant consequences/ opportunities for the dissemination of specific new cultivars of pearl millet and legumes, and the necessary accompanying technologies in the target regions of the seed cooperatives in Niger.
Outputs and Outcomes:
Expected outcomes of this project will be:
Women and men farmers using preferred varieties for improved grain production, improved food security and nutrition as well improved fodder availability.
The seed dissemination efforts of farmer organizations strengthened in such a way that they can sustain key aspects of their seed enterprises.
Plant breeders using new IT tools to receive feedback from increasing numbers of farmers during variety evaluations, for monitoring demonstration and seed production plots.
The outputs that should lead to the desired outcomes include:
Insights into concrete options for enhancing seed dissemination in the local target areas are documented and shared with stakeholders.
The governance, financial management, decision-making processes (including gender and cultural considerations) are understood for the seed systems of individual cooperatives and their unions in Niger.
Cell-phone based collection of feedback from farmers’ involved in variety testing, seed production, demonstration plots is evaluated for efficiency.
Evaluation of community radio and other farmer-participatory communication campaigns to enhance variety adoption.
Training guides and fact sheets to facilitate farmer experimentation with new varieties.
Leaflets and flyers about the advantages of specific varieties to farmers.
Farmers’ and other stakeholders’ assessments of country-specific seed regulations.
Agro-ecologically specified farmer-preferred traits documented and accessible.
Gender-specific consequences of adoption of new varieties of pearl millet and legumes for food security analyzed and documented in a collaborative manner.