Posts Tagged ‘seed certification’

Learnings from maize seed systems for smallholder farmers

by Carolyn Cowan

Access to optimal seed is vital for smallholder farmers to achieve high quality crops that give the best yield possible, allowing them to maximize financial and nutritional gains. Understanding and evaluating the methods by which smallholders obtain their seed is fundamental to guaranteeing farmers are receiving high quality seed that will support improved livelihoods.

Seed certification critical to quality seed production

A new variety in the market must have significant value to the farmer, such as higher tolerance to stresses, or added nutritional value. Photo: K. Kaimenyi/CIMMYT

For over 50 years, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), lead center of the CGIAR Research program on Maize (MAIZE), has led the research and development of quality, improved maize seed, designed to help farmers mitigate the effects of climate change while improving livelihoods.

Every new variety released is driven by farmer needs and preferences, with desirable traits such as pest and disease resistance, drought and heat tolerance as well as water and nutrient use efficiency. With improved maize seed, farmers not only benefit from increased stress tolerance, they also enjoy higher yields, increased nutritional value and improved income from grain sales.