Partnerships and Value Expansion for Inclusive Seed Systems (PAVE)
MEDA is assisting the Engro Foundation to test, validate and pilot an innovative inclusive seed business model by building capacity of more than 4,000 women and men smallholder farmers on seed production of rice, wheat and vegetables.
In Pakistan, 75% of seed in the seed system/value chain is uncertified and sold through informal channels. Although seed is the principle input in crop production, on which the quality of the produce largely depends, the majority of seed supply does not meet the minimum criteria of purity and quality, resulting in poor yields and poor quality harvests. This low-quality seed is primarily used by the smallholder farmers, who constitute 80% of the farmers in Pakistan, while the remaining 20% use the high quality, certified seed produced by seed companies in collaboration with big resourceful farmers. For these resource-poor and risk-averse smallholders to prosper, it is vital to build their capacity as users and producers of quality seed first.
PAVE Pakistan seeks to increase participation of men and women smallholder farmers in the seed value chain and enhance livelihoods, skills, expertise, seed mindedness, crop yields, farming practices and empowerment. The project targets more than 200 villages in Districts of Sheikhupura/Gujranwala in Punjab and integrate 4,000 small-holder farmers into the seed value chain out of which 400 will be women farmers.
This initiative addresses the agricultural seed business for rice, wheat and vegetables. The total industry size for seeding Pakistan is about Rs. 124 billion or AUD $1.5 billion (informal industry Rs. 70 billion and formal industry Rs. 54 billion). The social challenge is that small-holder farmers including women farmers are excluded from this value chain. More than 500 private sector seed companies and large public sector seed corporations are the exclusive seed producers in the country who have developed about 15,000-20,000 seed minded farmers in Punjab. These large-scale, commercial farmers dominate the market excluding smallholders completely from any benefits. This presents a great opportunity for commericial seed players to build partnerships with smallholders as customers and producers of quality seed while at the same time making access to modern farming and seed production techniques easier for smallholders.
Build the capacity of 4,000 smallholder farmers (including 400 women) around quality certified seed use and seed multiplication. This includes:
- Implementation of rice and wheat-related Best Crop Management Practices (BCMP) and Seed Production trainings to improve their knowledge, skill set and expertise;
- Targeted results for improving their practices, adoption, conversion to certified seed use, yields, profitability, income, livelihood, empowerment and entrepreneurship;
- Increasing the likelihood of participation in seed programmes on a sustainable basis.
Improve the readiness of 1,640 smallholders, to participate in a seed multiplication process to a level that commercial companies find it technically viable to work with them.
Convert 300 smallholder farmers, to registered seed suppliers for Engro’s seed business.
Develop approximately 60 enterprising smallholder farmers as Master Trainers to produce their own quality farm-saved seed for further exchange, distribution and selling among fellow farmers in nearby villages.