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Toolbox for Seed Systems of Roots, Tubers and Bananas 



Understand existing seed systems of vegetatively propagated crops, mainly potatoes, sweetpotatoes, cassava, yams, bananas, and assess and support the design of seed system interventions and improve their effectiveness.

Expected impact

Root, tuber and banana seed systems tend to be poorly developed and seed interventions to improve them have had limited success. This is a critical bottleneck for the farmers to access quality planting material of more nutritious, productive varieties, with the qualities that consumers demand, and adapted to changing climate scenarios. Better understanding of seed systems will improve the impact of the large investments made in crop breeding and boost farmer productivity with better quality seed, benefiting hundreds of millions of farmers and billions of consumers who depend on these crops

Description of the toolbox

The toolbox brings together proven strategies and tools that work to successfully diagnose, plan and develop new vegetative seed systems. It includes 11 tools: (1) multi-stakeholder framework, (2) impact network analysis, (3) Seed Tracker, (4) integrated seed health approaches and models, (5) seed tracing, (6) small-N/exploratory case study, (7) four-square method, (8) means-end chains method, (9) experimental auctions, (10) seed regulatory framework analysis, and (11) sustainable early generation seed business analysis tool (SEGSBAT). Although developed for root, tuber and banana crops, many elements of the toolbox are of broader relevance to other crops.

The entry points for using the tools can be visualized from the perspective of a seed value chain.


Examples of use

The toolbox has been validated in East and West Africa, Asia, and South America and has helped, among other things, to design a national plan for improving seed potato systems in Georgia, to understand the networks of cassava seed exchange and how to use these insights to prevent the spread of viruses in Asia, to explore farmer preferences and demand for banana planting materials, and to modernize seed quality assurance and certification schemes for cassava and yam in Nigeria and Tanzania.

Links to relevant documents and web pages


Toolbox website






User guide to the toolbox for working with root, tuber and banana seed systems






Contact person

Jorge Andrade-Piedra:

Logos of Centers and partners

Makerere University