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WEST AFRICA SEED PROGRAMME (WASP) - KEY ACTIVITIES AND STAKEHOLDERS

The Program will draw upon the combined expertise of the CGIAR centres, NARS including the National Seed Services, Quality Control and Certification Agencies, NGOs, Farmersí organizations, Universities, Local and National Private Sector Organizations and Companies, Seed initiatives, Sub-regional organizations and International private sector organizations and companies to achieve the following expected results: i) an inclusive West Africa Consortium established and operational; ii) national and regional seed laws and regulations implemented; iii) sufficient quantities of breeder, foundation and certified seeds to meet required demands produced and used; iv) private sector participation in the seed industry enhanced, and; v) capacities of National Seed Trade Associations strengthened. Activities are defined in general terms and specific activities will vary depending on the needs and strategies of individual countries and technical agencies.

At the national level, WASP will work with the existing governmental organizations and the private sector; these will include the (i) National Agricultural Research Institutions for breeder seed production, conduct of variety trials and training; (ii) Agricultural Extension Services in the promotion of new varieties and fostering linkages between farmers and seed entrepreneurs; (iii) National Seed Services on coordination activities; (iv) National Seed Committees in governance issues; (v) National Variety Release Committees in the release and cataloguing of new varieties; (vi) National Seed Quality Control and Certification Agencies in carrying out the implementation of seed policy and regulatory activities; (vii) Plant Protection and Regulatory Services in carrying out general regulatory activities relating to plant health; (viii) Universities in training and development of new varieties, and (ix) NSTAS in the production and marketing of seeds.

The project will support the CAADP, ECOWAP and the USAID FtF programs to improve agricultural productivity in attaining the expected 6% growth by 2015 (CAADP target), which will translate into reducing poverty by half and increased food security in West Africa. An alliance bringing stakeholders together will be formed, which will mobilize and pool resources together, and pursue a common vision, in order to contribute to objectives of CAADP, ECOWAP and FtF. Organizational, technical and agri-business capacities of key actors will be strengthened in variety testing, releases, maintenance breeding, production, processing, storage, quality control and certification, and marketing. The private sector will be transformed and empowered to play a key role in the delivery of certified seeds. It is envisaged that within a time frame of five (5) years, 25% of seed supplied to farmers in the sub-region will come from certified sources.

The expected impacts will include improvements in rural household incomes, increase in average yields of target crops, and the creation of an enabling environment for well functioning private sector participation in seed business.