RTB Workshop: Building an economically sustainable and integrated cassava seed system in Nigeria

27-28th April 2015- Ibadan, Nigeria. The RTB workshop on Building an economically sustainable and integrated cassava seed system in Nigeria was held at IITA Ibadan and was organized by the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The workshop brought together more than 40 stakeholders working in the cassava seed value chain in Nigeria in order to develop a consensus for and contribute to the program design of an economically sustainable and integrated cassava seed system in Nigeria. Nigeria is the world’s largest cassava producer yet yields have been far below there potential despite the official release of more than 40 improved cassava varieties over the last two decades and a highly developed cassava processing industry. A more commercially oriented and integrated cassava seed system will facilitate access and adoption of new varieties and the use of more productive cassava planting material and result in higher yields, unit productivity, and incomes.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • To establish a consensus on the rationale for and main outcomes from an economically sustainable and integrated cassava seed system in Nigeria.
  • To identify and prioritize key bottlenecks and proposed solutions for each component in the cassava seed system by drawing on stakeholder experience, knowledge, and perspective.
  • To discuss proposed value chains, geographic zones, and business models.
  • To present roles and activities for each lead partner.
  • To identify outcomes / deliverables and key performance indicators per objective.
  • To outline next steps and time frame for proposal development.

Workshop participants included breeders, foundation and commercial seed producers, seed regulatory agencies, cassava processing companies, farmers, and researchers. A key outcome of this two day workshop was to identify and prioritize key bottlenecks and proposed solutions for each component in the cassava seed system by drawing on stakeholder experience, knowledge, and perspective.

The proposal development process is underway with an expected submission date of July 2015 and program commencement in January 2016.