An integrated seed delivery system and seed research in Kenya: Case studies of pigeon pea, onion and dry bean
Kamundia, D K
Narla, R D
Mwang’ombe, A W
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Producing adequate and nutritious food for a population estimated to reach a billion people is the main challenge facing African countries in the twenty-first century. This demands increased utilisation of technologies designed to enhance crop productivity and quality, especially considering predictions in climate change and variability. Crop productivity is constrained by biotic and abiotic stresses, and by socio-economic factors, especially timely availability of affordable seed of improved varieties. The main limitation is a lack of integrated seed delivery systems linking key players in the seed value chains of most crops. Universities are key players in this system, a position recognised by recent policy change for Kenyan universities as described in the Universities Act (2012). The development of more than 18 new pigeon pea, onion and bean cultivars and of a seed delivery system at the University of Nairobi over the past two decades illustrates the potential of and challenges for implementing an integrated seed delivery system and defining the role of universities. This paper describes the current seed delivery system in Kenya, and proposes an integrated and sustainable seed delivery system and the functions of the key actors.
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