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Transforming Uganda's Seed Sector with Digital Tracking and Tracing

The seed sector is the foundation of any food system. Quality seeds ensures quality harvests and stable food supply. But seed quality issues like counterfeiting can severely disrupt food production. That's why Uganda implemented a digital Seed Tracking and Tracing System (STTS) to transform its seed sector.

The Need for a Robust Tracking System

In Uganda's seed sector, public institutions produce early generation seeds which are then multiplied and distributed by private entities to produce certified and quality declared seeds for farmers. However, issues like fake seeds disrupted this system.

To improve governance, the Uganda government developed the STTS system with support from the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) program. This digital system aims to track seed movement across the supply chain and trace it back to its origin when issues arise.

Key Components of the STTS Platform

The STTS has a central cloud-based database and includes a web platform and mobile app.

  • The web platform enables approvals, registration, and administrative functions. It provides a dashboard to monitor stocks, demand, supply etc. And robust admin features to configure settings and users.

  • The mobile app allows seed value chain actors like inspectors, producers, and distributors to carry out functions like order seeds, file planting returns, track stocks, submit quality assurance data etc. based on their user permissions.

Critical Functionality of STTS

The system enables tracking of seed lots from breeder to certified/quality declared stage. This provides visibility on seed movement after production.

It also enables tracing seeds back to their origin using unique codes. This is critical for enforcing seed regulations during complaints.

Transforming the Seed Sector with STTS

The STTS brings enormous transparency and accountability in the seed supply chain. Some key benefits are:

  • Seed producers get easier access to early generation seeds, and can track sales more efficiently.

  • Inspectors can seamlessly schedule and conduct inspections, and file reports digitally.

  • Regulators get more control over the system with real-time monitoring and digital approval workflows.

  • Farmers gain more reliability in accessing genuine, quality seeds.

Overall, STTS transforms governance and adds resilience in the seed sector. It ushers efficiency, enhances traceability, improves quality assurance, and curbs fake seeds. This seed sector transformation will contribute immensely to Uganda's food system resilience and sustainability.

The Future of Seed Tracking

Going forward, integrating emerging technologies like blockchain within STTS can make the seed tracking process even more tamper-proof and transparent.

Uganda has set an example of how to leverage digital tools to overhaul the seed sector. Such innovative systems can help transform food systems and make them future-ready across the world. The future of food truly lies in the seeds of change being sown today!

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