4th Mission in 2014 as Private Seed Sector Advisor in the ISSD Ethiopia Program

The Ethiopian Seed Association (ESA) in collaboration with Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Ethiopia program arranged an awareness creation forum on 22nd November for small-scale private seed producers in Addis Ababa. The main objectives of the awareness creation forum were to acquaint the private seed producers about the importance of being a member of ESA and thereby to attract new members to the Association.  During the forum, the new member companies were informed about the benefits ESA provides to its member, similar to other seed associations do in the world. These benefits generally include provision of information, representation, professional consultancy, lobbying, networking for business development. Twenty four private seed companies/ producers attended the briefing forum, out of which 16 signed up to be a member. This will increase the total number of members to 40. ESA has been working hard since its establishment in 2006 to be visible, supporting its members, connecting them to regional and global seed industries.

The growing optimism in the private seed sector is of great importance to support. A template of a Business Plan and a case study, has been developed. It will soon be introduced among ESA´s members, as a management tool, planning, recording and assessing the operations. The ISSD Private Sector Experts will assist ESA by facilitating the process and provide training when need by.

Further more, a first draft of a Code of Conduct has been been drawn up, which will enhance the confidence among farmers to invest in certified seed of improved varieties.

Another key activity during the 4th mission were to revise the Strategy Plan of ESA, document what has been accomplished and make a plan for additional support to the private seed sector during 2015.

A Monitoring and Evaluation report for the second half of 2104 is being compiled, which will include the activities of ESA and the private seed companies, supported through the ISSD program, and remaining challenged to be addressed during 2015.