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Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Africa
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Bioversity CCAFS Flagship

Bioversity CCAFS Flagship: Open source seeds systems for climate smart seed in East Africa.

Bioversity International leads a global initiative on seeds to manage climate risks a global seed system initiative funded by SDC.

ERMCSD implements climatesmart projects in East Africa, works with over 50 grassroots  organizations in Kenya and Uganda. Regional focus will be in East Africa with Uganda and Kenya as Target countries. Specific sites in Kenya will be in Wote and in Uganda it will be in Hoima site. All this are also known as climate smart villages.

Increases in temperature, extreme events and unpredictability of rainfall pose serious threats to agricultural production. Both in Kenya and Uganda, agricultural policies acknowledge that climate adapted crops and varieties in combination with ecological agriculture reduce risks of crop failure. Access to a wide variety of quality seeds is of critical importance, but is hampered by the unavailability of new, stress tolerant germplasm, by lack of knowledge and by inadequate distribution networks. Due to all this, this project aims to improve local, informal seed systems and to strengthen their linkages with the formal seed system through the development of open source seed system.

The project will also be implemented in two CCAFS and two non CCAFS sites. The consortium of Bioversity, Hivos, and the Environmental Resources Management Centre for Sustainable Development (ERMCSD) combines the ability to engage in participatory research, innovative learning processes, capacity building of women, youth and organizations and public private partnerships.

Key research outputs will include a model for open source seeds system (with equitable access by women and young farmers) for climate smart villages developed, implemented, tested year two nd up scaled   year three and onwards.

Outcomes after four years of this project will be an open source seed system will be functioning in 4 sites, with active engagement of local government, local extension services, private sector and local communities. Through interaction with East Africa Flagship for consortium on policy that can deliver beyond the proposed sites, 100,000 farmers per county will be targeted by the end of the 4th year project. Over 700,000 farmers will benefit within 10 years in each country.

Contribution to CGIAR Intermediate Development Outcomes (IDOS)

Gender and social differentiation makes use of existing Hivos and ERMCSD gender strategies. It aims to further enhance the capacities of men, women, and young people focusing on joint decision making at household level, governance and leadership in seed selection, production and market access.

Adaptive capacity will be enhanced by improving their access to, and capacity to produce, high quality seeds well adapted to changing and unpredicted conditions.

Policies: A meeting with policymakers in both countries Kenya and Uganda at the local level (sub-county, county, district) in 2015, national level in 2016 and with sub-regional organizations in 2017, to identify options for improved policy and institutional support for scaling up and out climate smart open-source seed systems in both countries.

Food security: Creation of open source seed systems will increase crop diversification and quality of yields by at least 25%. This increase will be brought about from crop types and varieties better adopted to changing agro ecological conditions.

Partnerships which will contribute enabling outcomes include, CIMMYT, IITA, ICRISAT, CIAT to tap into CGIAR technologies related to adapted seeds that might enter the open source seed system, CIFOR, ICRAF, CIAT, for soil and water technologies. National Agriculture Research Institutes (NARI, KARI) to test smallholder farmers innovations. Practitioner experts in open source seed systems from Asia and Africa(CSA,CTDT,SEARICE), Media Institutions for knowledge sharing.