Breeder Seed Component
The Breeder Seed component of the BASICS project is led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in close partnership with the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), and aims at strengthening the Early Generation Seed (EGS) system. BASICS is working towards two key outcomes through this component:
- to ensure a sustainable pipeline of improved varieties responsive to the needs of farmers, processors, consumers, and national needs; and
- an institutionalized system to ensure adequate and timely availability of breeder seeds of appropriate varieties for production of foundation seeds to in-turn, meet the needs of the commercial seed producers.
The component aims to achieve the above objectives through a multi-pronged approach as follows:
- Pipeline of improved varieties: processor and farmer feedback is obtained through strategically planned demand creation trials to be used by the breeding team. The project also carries out seed comparison trials in various locations to demonstrate the superiority of clean seeds and improved varieties compared to current farmer practices and to constantly gather intelligence on the dynamic market needs.
- Semi-Autotropic Hydroponics (SAH): One of the major bottlenecks hampering rapid widespread adoption of improved varieties has been slow and low multiplication ratio in cassava. A game-changing proprietary rapid multiplication technology from Argentina has been adapted by BASICS for cassava allowing multi-fold increase in the ability to provide EGS in a given time to the overall seed system.
- Go-Seed: IITA is establishing an institutionalised system to support widespread adoption of improved varieties by ensuring adequate and timely availability of early generation seeds (EGS) of various released varieties. This dedicated entity called GoSeed will work closely in partnership with private foundation seed producers and commercial seed companies to facilitate a sustainable EGS system to support the commercial seed production chain.