Using the digital seed catalog and seed roadmap for better access to seed information

An exercise with participants to add information in the online seed catalog and seed roadmap. Photo: M. Magassa- ICRISAT

About 30 stakeholders from seed companies and research institutes learned how to plan their seed production using an online seed catalog.

Developed by ICRISAT’s Digital Agriculture team, the seed catalog and seed roadmap platform aim to collect and catalog information on all seeds at the national and regional levels and to establish a ‘roadmap’ that would allow planning of the production of seeds in several countries in Africa and Asia. The online catalog will provide information on quality and availability of seeds at national and regional levels in several countries in West and Eastern Africa.

The two-day workshop involved online management of the system with different groups updating seed information of different crops, resulting in a substantial increase in updates: while pre-workshop information was very low (0% for sorghum and pearl millet, 4% for groundnut and 58% for cowpea), the updates bumped it up considerably (100% for sorghum, 95% for pearl millet, 91% for groundnut and 97% for cowpea).

According to Dr Chris Ojiewo, Global Coordinator, AVISA and HOPE Projects, the seed roadmaps will enable governments, small-scale seed producers and the private sector to plan, produce, monitor and provide quality seed to smallholders, regardless of the locality.

With the catalog, the characteristics of all the varieties of these crops can be accessed online. This will be very useful for seed companies, farmers and producer organizations from different parts in Ghana and globally,” says Mr Satish Nagaraji, Senior Manager – Digital Agriculture, ICRISAT.

“We hope this kind of initiative will be more successful in Ghana,” said Mr Seth Osei Akoto, Director, Crop Services, representing the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana (MoFA) who went further to acknowledge ICRISAT and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their contribution.

“Practical sessions are effective in ensuring that everyone is on the same page while filling in the information on the online seed catalog,” said Ms Kanika Singh, Senior Scientific Officer, ICRISAT.

The workshop, conducted in Accra, Ghana, during 6–7 September, is part of similar workshops held previously in four other countries: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kampala, Uganda; Arusha, Tanzania and Bamako, Mali in 2018.

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