Seed Systems

Seed systems are the “backbone” of sector research, quality assurance, extension, and distribution. They are the trigger point to create more productive, commercial farmers able to shift to more sustainable farming practices.

The Center of Excellence for Seed Systems in Africa (CESSA) is focused on forming partnerships to address various challenges in the African seed systems. A one-stop center to accelerate the building of functional seed systems.

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Strengthening National
seed systems

We will strengthen national seed systems by enhancing government and private sector support for seeds and building a stronger seed policy and regulatory framework

Enabling inclusive farmer
access to seed

by increasing availability of EGS and improved seed, improving extension services, and enhancing the capacity of the extension and input distribution system.

Enabling higher adoption of diverse, climate-smart crop varieties

by enhancing variety turnover, developing strong quality control for improved seed, and offering advisory on diverse, nutrient- dense, climate- smart varieties

AGRA aims to establish strong, efficient, and resilient seed systems that provide farmers with timely and affordable access to suitable and high-quality varieties, equipped with traits for improved yields and resilience against pests and diseases.


CESSA, hosted by AGRA was born out of the need for a one-stop center to accelerate the availability of quality seeds that meet the market and ecological demands of African farmers for increased profitability, resilience, and production.

CESSA, launched in September 2021, will serve to support governments, the private sector, and development partners to deliver modern, effective, and resilient seed systems to serve African farmers better. It will strengthen the seed value chain, particularly variety development and release, production and distribution of both early generation and certified seed, farmer awareness creation and participation, quality assurance, national planning, and inform policy and regulatory frameworks.

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