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The Pathways page is dedicated to exploring the various routes through which the seed sector in South Sudan can be transformed. This includes understanding the current state of the seed sector, identifying the challenges it faces, and outlining potential solutions and strategies for improvement.

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South Sudan faces immense challenges in developing a robust, inclusive, sustainable and resilient seed sector that can provide farmers with access to quality seed of appropriate varieties in a timely and affordable manner.

To address these challenges, the first South Sudan Seed Hub event was organised in September 2022, bringing together key seed sector stakeholders. The aim was to reflect on the current performance of the seed sector, identify key challenges, and explore opportunities to address those challenges.

The dialogue was grounded in a contextual analysis of the seed sector, which looked at the informal, intermediary, and formal seed systems operating in South Sudan. This analysis aimed to identify pathways to transform the sector and build resilience.

Ten key pathways were identified and endorsed by stakeholders. These pathways focus on:

Pathway 1

Developing a National Seed Policy and seed regulatory framework


Key priority actions:

Establish a technical working group on this topic under the Seed Hub
Implement a wider consultation on seed policy, law, and regulation
Develop and disseminate SOPs


Pathway 2

Strengthening seed sector coordination, digital inclusion and partnerships

Key priority actions:

Organise Seed Hub events at national and state levels, to establish and nurture seed sector partnerships
Develop a digital seed portal to document and disseminate seed sector-related information and activities
Advocate and lobby for an enabling seed sector environment, increased funding and investment, and capacity building to professionalize
 the seed sector


Pathway 3

Supporting the transition from seed relief to seed sector development

Key priority actions:

Increase efforts to link market-based humanitarian seed interventions with local seed production initiatives
Strengthen informal seed systems in responding to seed demand
Develop a rural agro-dealer network


Pathway 4

Strengthening farmer-based seed systems

Key priority actions:

Mobilise stakeholders to engage in supporting local seed production to meet local demand
Mobilise seed producer groups to develop into commercially viable local seed businesses
Promote uptake of locally produced seed within the community (e.g. through radio talk shows, market days, seed fairs/exhibitions, and infotainment)


Pathway 5

Supporting the development of the private seed sector

Key priority actions:

Engage with development partners for the development of innovative finance mechanisms to seed companies
Research to increase product
ion volumes of quality foundation seed of new varieties for seed companies to produce certified seed
Support the development of an effective and efficient seed certification system with standardized fees for all seed producers


Pathway 6

Establishing a decentralized seed Quality Assurance system

Key priority actions:

Organise meeting with MAFS and all relevant stakeholders to validate recommendations to establish a technical working group on seed quality assurance
Build technical and infrastructural capacity to implement the recommendations


Pathway 7

Establishing a national gene bank linked to community seed banks

Key priority actions:

Mobilise financial and human resources
Establish the national gene bank
Collect, characterize, evaluate, and use germplasm


Pathway 8

Strengthening crop breeding and access to new varieties

Key priority actions:

Upgrade DAR into a full-fledged national agricultural research organization
Support the Seed Hub to convene regional research institutes meeting to solicit technical and material support to establish and stre
ngthen National Research Institute for South Sudan
Solicit funds for capacity building (human resources, infrastructure and logistics)


Pathway 9

Establishing public-private partnerships in Foundation Seed production

Key priority actions:

* Mobilise resources to boost EGS production and supply; prioritize recently released varieties in South Sudan
* Develop guidelines for quality EGS production, quality assurance and packaging
* Build capacity in EGS production, demand forecasting, quality assurance and packaging (technical and infrastructure) (seed companies, the Directorate of Research, academic institutions, farmers)
* Conduct a detailed EGS accessibility study for South Sudan


Pathway 10

Capacity building of key government departments and public institutes

Key priority actions:

* Mobilise resources
* Rehabilitate and renovate research stations
* Review and update crop research and seed-related training and education curricula
* Start a discussion on the establishment of an autonomous seed authority and a semi-autonomous research organization

Key stakeholders to involve for each of the 10 pathways















1. Developing seed policy and regulations
- Government institutions, private sector, academia, research, civil society, farmers, development partners, UN agencies

2. Improving coordination, partnerships, and digital inclusion
- Government, academia, research institutes, CGIAR centers, private sector, NGOs, farmers organizations, UN agencies, development partners

3. Transitioning from seed relief to seed sector development  
- Government, UN agencies, NGOs, donors, farmer organizations, academia

4. Strengthening farmer-based seed production
- Government, farmers, NGOs, seed companies, financial institutions, academia, development partners

5. Supporting private seed companies
- Private seed companies, financial institutions, farmers unions, government, NGOs, donors, academia, UN agencies

6. Establishing decentralized seed quality assurance
- Government, private sector, NGOs, farmers, seed traders associations, academia, UN agencies

7. National gene bank and community seed banks
- Government, CGIAR centers, NGOs, farmer organizations, private sector, academia, development partners

8. Boosting crop breeding and varietal access
- Government, research institutes, academia, private seed companies, NGOs, development partners, UN organizations 

9. Public-private foundation seed production
- Government, academia, donors, NGOs, private seed companies, farmers, UN agencies

10. Building capacity of government and public institutes
- Government ministries, research institutes, academia, CGIAR centers, private sector, UN agencies

Dynamics of Stakeholder Engagement

Transforming the seed sector requires coordinated efforts and buy-in from diverse stakeholders. It is critical to acknowledge the different interests, incentives, capacities, and power dynamics of stakeholders.


  • Government policymakers need to balance public good objectives with private sector interests.

  • Development partners should align activities to government priorities and ensure local ownership.

  • Farmers and farmer organizations have vital indigenous knowledge but often lack voice in decision-making.

  • Women farmers face additional constraints needing specific attention.

  • Private companies seek an enabling business environment and profit motives.

  • Public research bodies require adequate funding and resources.


Building trust and shaping agreements among stakeholders with both competing and complementary interests is essential. Platforms like the Seed Hub can enable constructive dialogue and coordination. Adequate participation mechanisms are needed so all relevant stakeholders are engaged in the process in an inclusive, meaningful way.


Policy Recommendations

Here are the key policy recommendations from the 10 pathways


Developing seed policy and regulations

  • Borrow from the harmonized regional policy framework

  •  Undertake consultations among different stakeholders

  • Establish an independent seed authority

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Improving coordination, partnerships, and digital inclusion

  • Develop provisional policy notes to guide seed sector coordination

  • Incorporate partnership, coordination and digital inclusion in the National Seed Policy

  • Government to support the University of Juba to lead Seed Hub events 


Transitioning from seed relief to seed sector development

  • Develop policy strategy for transitioning from relief to development

  • Elaborate the seed classes and their certification guidelines

  • Implement timely, evidence-based joint assessment and monitoring tools for seed interventions in emergencies


Strengthening farmer-based seed production

  • Ensure farmers’ access to information on new varieties

  • Ensure access to decentralized seed quality assurance services

  • Recognize different seed classes in the National Seed Policy

  • Address regulation of seed trade in the National Seed Policy

  • Streamline seed relief to ensure a market-based approach

  • Facilitate access to finance through financial institutes and SACCOs


Supporting private seed companies

  • Create a more enabling and transparent environment for promoting seed business

  • Prioritize private sector seed system development 

  • Establish an agricultural insurance policy to decrease investment risks


Establishing decentralized seed quality assurance

  • Review and validate the National Seed Policy to establish a decentralized system


National gene bank and community seed banks

  • Appoint a government institution responsible for the national gene bank

  • Appoint a focal point for the IT-PGRFA

  • Harmonize with regional and international PGR policies


Boosting crop breeding and varietal access

  • Enact the Plant Breeding Bill

  • Support private companies to develop their own varieties

  • Develop policy on Access and Benefit Sharing of Plant Genetic Resources

  • Develop policy to establish a national agricultural research organization


Public-private foundation seed production

  • Formalize an EGS operational framework

  • Disseminate and enforce EGS guidelines

  • Harmonize with regional and international EGS laws


Building capacity of government and public institutes

  • Establish a semi-autonomous research organization

  • Establish an autonomous seed authority

  • Seek alternative funding sources for research

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