Malawi Seed Industry Development

Published on 2 July 2010

Research Areas




Start Date: 1 August 2008 | End Date: 31 July 2010


The Malawi Seed Industry Development Project was designed to support the work of the Eastern and Southern Africa Seed Alliance (ESASA) in Malawi. The goal of ESASA is to increase smallholder yields and incomes through the competitive and reliable provision of high quality affordable seed to smallholder farmers. The three primary objectives of ESASA targeting the development of the seed industry are:

(i)       Develop capacity of existing and potential local seed companies;

(ii)      Improve the policy environment for seed trade;

(iii)    Strengthen the commercial distribution network for improved seeds, complementary inputs, and resulting crop outputs.

We will expand the implementation of Objective One in the Central and Northern Regions of Malawi, and to initiate collaboration with the AGRA-funded Malawi Agro-dealer Strengthening Program (MASP) being implemented by the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs (CNFA) through their local affiliate Rumark to strengthen the commercial distribution network for improved seeds and complementary inputs.

For existing and potential local seed companies to market improved high-quality seed they need to access breeder and/or foundation seed of improved varieties. The project will expand the production of both classes of seed of beans, groundnuts, pigeonpeas and rice using the funds already allocated to the seed revolving fund in the first year of the project and from additional funds made available from savings in year one. The project will also facilitate the production of certified seed by the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) that will be made available to the Malawi Input Subsidy Program (ISP) in 2010 through the seed traders association of Malawi (STAM) network. To increase the number of seed companies in the country, the project will identify and support selected agro-dealers interested in marketing improved high-quality seed.   First by creating demand through demonstrations in the 2009/10 season and then to market certified seed produced by seed growers under contract to the identified agro-dealers in 2010. The project will establish an umbrella brand to assist existing and new seed companies in seed marketing.To ensure seed quality standards are adhered to the national seed service will be supported to undertake training of seed growers, and to carry out independent inspections of all seed classes to assure seed quality.

Finally the project will undertake a research study on existing seed use and seed management practices employed by smallholder farmers in the country. This research will also focus on legume seed pricing by traders and farmer preferences for different legume seed varieties by agro-ecological zone The results of this research will be used to inform the Government of Malawi and other key stakeholders and help to come up with a policy that will help smallholder farmers access certified legume seed within short distances and at prices they can afford.

Research Partners


One Response to “Malawi Seed Industry Development”

  1. J Kawamba says:

    What is the market for seed in Malawi?

Ask a Question

You must be logged in to post a comment.