The Pan-African Variety Trial Program teams work alongside local partners to implement Seeds2B initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa. Local partners involved include National Agricultural Research Systems; farmer groups, processors and technical organizations specialized in variety screening; organizations that have capacity to demonstrate new improved crop varieties with large numbers of farmers; organizations that link credit or savings to seed purchase; and seed producers and distributors.
The Pan-African Variety Trial Program:
Negotiates with private and public breeders for access to high potential crop varieties.
Assess and benchmarks the performance, adaptability and market acceptance of accessed varieties in research and farmer fields across target agro-ecologies to justify registration and commercial release.
Provides risk mitigation support for breeders, smallholders and local seed enterprises. This may include creation of advance market demand, guidance on protection of intellectual property rights and direction on regulatory matters.
Oversees brokered commercial partnerships between local seed enterprises and breeders to ensure benefit for all and more so smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The trialing platform provides testing and registration of commercial varieties and establishes distribution systems for quality seed in Africa. The Pan-African Soybean Variety Trials provide 50+ soybean varieties from the Soybean Innovation Lab’s research and private sector partners across Africa and in Brazil, and from the U.S. Soybean Germplasm Collection for variety trial evaluation. The trial program also involves technical staff training; data collection, cleaning, analysis, and reporting; extension field days and associated materials; communication and promotion; and legal support for licensing and royalty payments.