Afghanistan Variety and Seed Industry Development

Project Brief

Duration: 1 January 2007 – 31 December 2011

Donor and Budget: European Commission (Euro 10 million)

  1. GOAL:

    Contributing to higher productivity of major staple crops in Afghanistan and to higher food security particularly in rural areas.


    Improving access of farmers to quality certified seeds and planting material (of major staple crops).


    The 4 output areas and associated activities are summarized as follows:

    (i) The Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan (ARIA) is enabled to effectively develop varieties and produce breeder seed.

    To achieve output 1, the project obtains advanced breeding lines from international collections and assists ARIA in the following: design and management of variety trials; collecting and analyzing data for identification of varieties for release; registering released varieties and in producing breeder seed; assessing training needs of staff; developing training plans and providing different types of training; and providing essential equipment and supplies.

    (ii)   The Improved Seed Enterprises (ISEs) are enabled to produce foundation seeds of newly released and popular existing varieties.

    Regarding output 2, the project assists ISEs in producing foundation seed; assists and monitors the harvesting, processing and packaging of foundation seed; monitors the sale of foundation seed; provides essential equipment and spares; assesses training needs of staff; develops training plans and provides training in seed technology, quality assurance, and equipment service and maintenance.

    (iii) A National Seed Board (NSB) and its affiliated bodies are established and made functional as apex institutions for coordinating seed industry functions.

     The project achieves output 3 through the following activities: assisting in preparing ToRs and appointing members of NSB; establishing NSB Secretariat and providing support services; providing funds for Secretariat running costs; assisting in organizing regular NSB meetings, establishing Seed Certification Agency; establishing Variety Release Committee; and establishing Seed and Plant Health Inspectorate for monitoring movement/entry of seeds and planting materials into Afghanistan.

    (iv)  An appropriate system for commercializing quality certified seeds to farmers is established and made functional

    Output 4 is achieved through the following activities: assessing training needs of producers;  developing a training plan and providing on-farm training; hold Seed Review and Planning meetings; holding stakeholder consultations on ISE and NGO privatization; carrying out nationwide market research; conducting EcoFin analysis; conducting national privatization workshop; conducting seed marketing and production training; organizing business meetings for seed producers and input dealers; creating awareness about improved varieties and quality seed through field days and field schools; assisting in establishing regional seed trader associations; assisting participation in annual Congresses of the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA); assisting in organizing seed and input fairs; and introducing margin analysis, promoting cost-effectiveness and competitive pricing


    This project intends to serve its purpose by demonstrating a clear evidence of the following: policy and regulatory reforms creating conducive conditions for seed markets to function efficiently; increasing numbers of farmers becoming willing to buy quality seed; new crop varieties released regularly from which sufficient quantities of breeder, foundation and certified seeds are produced commercially; seed industry is well regulated such that seed producers, sellers and buyers abide by seed policy and law; and capacity building of government counterpart staff results in a cadre of capable and experienced seed professionals in the Ministry of Agriculture.  [Project brief PDF...].

New releases and stories

  • Seed enterprises meet in Kabul to plan next production season [more...] 27 October 2008
  • Quality Seed Fair held at Badam Bagh in Kabul [more...] 27 October 2008
  • General Assembly of Afghanistan National Seed Association meets for the first time [more...] 26 October 2008
  • World Food Day - Afghanistan inaugurates a National Seed Secretariat [more...] 16 October 2008
  • New private enterprises driving seed industry growth in Afghanistan
  • FAO seed project releases two new wheat varieties for Afghan farmers [more...] 14 August 2008
  • Governor Mangal inaugurates FAO satellite seed laboratory in Helmand Province [more...] 14 August 2008
  • FAO seed project hosts Governor and farmers at Field Day in Bamyan [more...] 28 July 2008
  • Afghanistan endorses ECO Regional Seed Association [more...] 27 July 2008
  • US and UK governments support Afghanistan seed sector [more...] 07 July 2008
  • Audio slide show on: FAO-EU AFGHANISTAN SEED PROJECT


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