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FANRPAN's Harmonized Seed Security Project Mid-Term Review
March 2012


The Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) is a FANRPAN project that seeks to address seed security in the SADC region by aligning country protocols in order to increase availability of and access to quality affordable seed for smallholder farmers.

This is a Swiss Agency for Development Co-operation (SDC) funded pilot project running for four years (2010 - 2013) in four countries: Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The project seeks to assist governments in the pilot countries to align their seed protocols in line with the SADC Seed Security Protocols, which all 15 SADC countries are signatories.

HaSSP was launched in 2010, this year marks the mid-term of the project and therefore warrants a review of the following project objectives to:
  • Align seed variety release policies
  • Align phytosanitary policies
  • Align seed certification policies
  • Strengthen capacity of government, civil service and other key stakeholders
  • Strengthen seed certification facilities
The purpose of the mid-term review (MTR) is to assess progress against the 5 objectives; that is to assess to what extent the project is on track. The MTR will also provide lessons learnt to date with clear recommendations to inform future implementation and improve project delivery for the remainder of the project.

Zambia Zimbabwe Swaziland
FANRPAN's Harmonized Seed Security Project Mid-Term Review, Zambia
FANRPAN's Harmonized Seed Security Project Mid-Term Review, Zambia
Community Seed Processing Site at Fuve Panganai, Zimbabwe
Community Seed Processing Site at Fuve Panganai, Zimbabwe
Participants of the MTR Implementers Workshop, Zimbabwe
Participants of the MTR Implementers Workshop, Zimbabwe
Members of Imbali yaMadlenya Scheme during the MTR Field Visit
Members of Imbali yaMadlenya Scheme during the MTR Field Visit
Swaziland HaSSP Implementers during the MTR Workshop
Swaziland HaSSP Implementers during the MTR Workshop
MTR dates 02-04 April
Consultants Mr Gregory Chilufya
Community Visited Kapiri Mposhi
Farmers consultation 9 (5 males and 4 females sampled at the field day)
Community, farmers and officers attending the field day Around 120
Implementing partners attendance 20 (12 males and 8 females)
Organizations Represented
  • Agriculture Consultative Forum
  • FANRPAN
  • Kapiri Mposhi Seed Producerss
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Justice
  • SADC Seed Centre
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • Seed Control and Certification Institute
  • Zambia National Farmers Union
  • Zimbabwe Farmers Union
  • Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Service
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute
MTR dates 13-15 March
Consultants Jimat Development Consultants
Community Visited Fuve Panganai
Farmer consultation attendance: Farmers 28 (16 males and 12 females)
Farmer consultation attendance: Local Officers 12 (9 males and 3 females)
Implementing partners attendance 23 (14 males and 9 females)
Organizations Represented
  • FANRPAN
  • Seed Services
  • Seed Co
  • AGRITEX
  • Plant Quarantine Services
  • Research Services
  • GRM International
  • AGs Office
  • Zimbabwe Farmers Union
  • Zaka Seed Producers
  • Agricultural Research Council
MTR dates 19-22 March
Consultants Mr Thulasizwe Dludlu
Community Visited Siphofaneni
Farmer consultation attendance: Farmers 18 (7 males and 11 females)
Farmer consultation attendance: Local Officers 3 (3 males)
Implementing partners attendance 17 (10 males and 7 females)
Organizations Represented
  • FANRPAN
  • Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO)
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE)
  • SWASTA
  • Swaziland National Agricultural Farmers Union (SNAU)
  • Seed Quality Control Services
  • African Christian Collage
HaSSP Second Season Community Seed Production in Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia
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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
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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)
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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
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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.
MTR Consultation with Farmers
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On the 13th of March the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) launched the Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) mid-term review (MTR). The purpose of this MTR is to assess to what extent the project is on track. The MTR will also provide lessons learnt to date with clear recommendations to inform future implementation and improve project delivery for the remainder of the project.

The Zimbabwe HaSSP MTR consultant from JIMAT Development Consultants and a Team from FANRPAN met with 28 farmers at Fuve Panganai. Also attending were 12 officials from GRM international and the local Ministry of Agriculture (i.e., agricultural extension and Irrigation divisions). The Team visited a farm to see this year's crop.

A group of 21 farmers, in Ward 15, produced 6.3 tons of groundnut seed from the 4.2 hactor plot. The major challenges highlighted include managing group dynamics with regard to the use and payment of irrigation water and lack of marketing plan for the seeds. The farmers are busy registering a company to market their seed - Zaka Super Seeds; an unexpected result of the HaSSP project in Zimbabwe.

MTR Consultations with Implementing Partners
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The external reviewer, JIMAT Development Consultants, led a 2 day work for the Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) mid-term review. On the 14th - 15th of March 23 participants from the Zimbabwe seed sector and FANRPAN gathered at Chengeta Lodge.

The consultations focused on assessing the design, implementation, management and interim results at output and outcome levels that contribute to achieving the longer term goal of increased availability of and access to improved seeds to improve food security of smallholders in the SADC. Furthermore, participants shared on what has helped and what has hindered progress (in terms of the 5 project objectives) and also provided recommendations of how to strengthen outcomes for sustainability for the remainder of the project.

The workshop, which was participatory as possible, enabled implementing partners to internalise the findings, lessons and recommendations of the MTR and reached consensus on the next steps as key action points. The suggested 30 key action points, which were also shared with the Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary, will focus on:
  • Accelerating alignment of policies and regulations
  • Strengthening infrastructure and equipment
  • Improving project Design and Management by FANRPAN
  • Strengthening the role of FANRPAN Node, The ARC
  • Improving the role of Private Sector
  • Institutional Development, and
  • Project sustainability
HaSSP Planting a Seed of Hope in Siphofaneni, Swaziland
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Tucked away between stretches of sugar cane fields lies a rural community of Imbali yaMadlenya in Siphofaneni, in the lowveld of Swaziland. A group of 29 community members came together to form the Imbali yaMadlenya scheme as part of the Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP), through Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development (SWADE). The scheme made up of a mixture of young and old smallholder farmers owns a 6 hectare piece of land; they have planted 5 hectares of the Kranskorp bean seeds and 1 hectare of maize seed variety ZM 523.

The FANRPAN HaSSP Mid-Term Review (MTR) Team accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Agriculture (Seed Quality Control Services Unit - SQCS) and SWADE visited the Imbali yaMadlenya scheme to see the work that they have undertaken and to talk to the scheme members about the project progress.

The hope in their eyes and voices is hard to miss as they believe that this project will pull them out of poverty and ensure seed and food security. Evidence gathered showed that this is a group of smallholder farmers who are eager to learn more about seed production in order to impart the skills and knowledge to fellow smallholder farmers in the village. Although they are only starting out the commitment they have to their scheme and the project is evident as the MTR Team found them hard at work in the scorching heat.

Mr Absolom Ngcamphalala, secretary for the scheme thanked FANRPAN, SQCS and SWADE for the visit and continued support. He promised that the scheme will work hard to put Swaziland and their community in the map, as they got to understand that the project is not only about them as a scheme but Swaziland as a country as its stretches over four countries.

African Christian College - a Certified Seed Producer through HaSSP
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The first year of the Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) saw the African Christian College (ACC) moving from grain farming to certified seed producers. The journey started when HaSSP was launched in Swaziland in 2010.

The College received training and inputs like fertilizer and maize seed initially from the project and went on to plant 3 hactres of land, planting the ZM309 OPV maize crop. With the support from the Seed Quality Control Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, the ACC managed to go through the process of producing seed, where the unit assisted with seed processing, hiring of sheller and cleaning of maize at the end of harvesting. 'Seed production is a specialised field within farming, not every farmer can produce seed. We learnt how hard and involving seed production is, but the support from the HaSSP project made the journey of seed production a smooth one' says Mr Mhango, a Smallholder Farmer at the African Christian College.

In order to realise HaSSP's goal of increasing the availability of and access to quality affordable seed to smallholder farmers for improved food security of smallholders, the college sold 7.8 tons of their harvest to local smallholder farmers through Farm Chemicals.

For the second season, the ACC used proceeds from their first harvest to buy inputs for planting and are now about to harvest. However, storage of their harvest is at the moment a challenge as they do not have proper storage before their maze is taken for processing.

Through the HaSSP project, the smallholder farmers involved in the ACC seed production have gained valuable knowledge and skills and appreciate the importance of keeping the fields clean and well planted for seed production, says Mr Mhango.

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