A new online tool to improve the delivery of seeds in West Africa was recently launched by CORAF.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development West Africa within the PAIRED framework, this tool is expected to improve seeds’ delivery considerably.
“Delivery systems for seeds are currently underdeveloped in West Africa, thereby limiting the much-needed access to improved varieties by smallholder farmers,” says Dr. Abdulai Jalloh, CORAF’s Director of Research and Innovation.
The Seed demand forecasting tool is a practical instrument used in projecting the potential and actual seed demands to support both the public seed sector and private seed companies.
How the Tool Looks Like?
The Seed Demand Forecasting Tool is an excel spreadsheet that works based on a series of basic assumptions such as the potential area to be used for seed production, seeding rate, and seed yield. It is meant to assist producers in planning the seed production effort through a process of demand projections and examining past and present performance levels, combined with assessing available products and current markets.
What Challenge does it seek to solve?
More or less seeds could be produced at the start of the farming season than demanded, leading to shortfall or substantial carryover of the seed stock.
Experts argue that these tools can be game-changing steps given the relatively high internet penetration and mobile telephony use in West and Central Africa.
“Digital for agriculture tools such as the Seed Forecasting Tool allows for the democratization of data and relevant research outputs to farmers using the magic of the internet”, says Dr. Yacouba Diallo, an agriinput expert at CORAF.