MOST and Funwe Seed Limited – Collaboration On Seed Stocking and Distribution Pilot
Most committed to assist Funwe Seed Limited in the placement of a Sales Agronomist and the implementation of a promotion strategy from which Funwe Seed Limited would benefit awareness on the availability of seed on cash sales and benefits of using certified seed.
Funwe Seed Limited selected and trained agro-dealers on sales data maqnaqgement to ensure both partners are able to get information to ably evaluate the pilot. Agreed volumes of groundnut (10mT) and soyabean (20mT) seed was made available in the 4 targeted districts and stocked by the 20 selected agro-dealers by September 2016. The seed for the pilot was packaged in different packs sixes of 2,3 and 5kgs. Only soyabean was packaged in 5kgs.
Funwe Seed Limited has successfully run a promotional and marketing activities for groundnut and soyabean covering 4 districts (Dowa, Kasungu, Lilongwe and Ntchisi) and 20 selected agro-dealers. The activities included production and airing of radio jingles and production of point of sale promotional materials.
Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership
AGRA is an acronym that stands for Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa. It has its Head office in Kenya –Nairobi.
AGRA is funded by United States Agency for international Development (USAID).
Funwe Seed Ltd , then Funwe Farm Limited was privileged in 2014 to be part of AGRA family under a Project called Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership grant (SSTP).
SSTP grant enabled Funwe Seed Ltd to offset the costs of the initial stages of producing parent lines, procurement of breeder and basic seed. The elements of farmer awareness and education are also costly and the end result is a loss. This grant come in to offset these costs to the benefit of the farmer.
1 – Objectives :
- Scale up production of MH30 a new hybrid maize, pigeon peas (ICEAP01514) and cowpeas; these are varieties particularly suited to the lowland agro-ecological zones. These crop varieties are drought tolerant, hence the choice.
- To make those seeds available to farmers in suitable pack sizes.
- To create awareness among the farmers about these varieties’ characteristics and availability.
2 – Period of the project.
The project would run from January, 2015 to March,2017.
3 – Project Results:
- The project enabled Funwe Seed Ltd to be self-sufficient in MH30 parent lines through its support. Through the project MH30 was available to the farmers within a year after its release.
- Farmers were aware of the crop varieties which were earmarked by SSTP through field days conducted in the demonstration plots which were established.
- The seed under SSTP has been available to the farmers in small packs of 2 kg. The farmers have been accessing the seed within their vicinity through a well-organized network of Agro dears and Chain stores.
- Through the grant; the company was able to increase number of employees and agro dealers since there has been an increase in the volumes of seed produced.
4 – Vote of thanks
Funwe Seed Ltd appreciates the support from USAID through AGRA. This support has enabled Funwe Seed Ltd to be self sufficient in MH30 parent lines.
Pigeon Pea Cash Sales Pilot 2016/17
Funwe Seed Limited is collaborating with the Business Innovation Facility to test the market for pigeon pea seed cash sales for 2016/17 agricultural season. This project entails the allocation of pigeon pea seed for cash sales, the packaging of pigeon pea seed into appropriate customer convenient pack sizes, (1kg packs), distribution to selected Agro-dealers and the monitoring of progress.
Success will see the selling of all the allocation of pigeon pea seed to thus pilot being sold for cash and not through the FISP programme.
Funwe Seed Limited has agreed to commit 10 MT of pigeon pea seed to the cash sales pilot to be packaged in 1 kg packs. Funwe Seed Limited will sell at either pro-rata the FISP price or slightly less than FISP to encourage cash sales.
Funwe Seed Limited has selected a number of agro-dealers to participate in this pilot and has taken them through the objectives of the pilot and what is expected of them. They have also been trained on pigeon pea Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) and Pests and Disease Management Inputs (PDMIs) use and application ahead of seed stocking.