Prof. Jeninah Karungi Tumutegyereize

Innovation Coach

Prof. Jeremiah Kang’ombe

ProjectProf. Jeninah Karungi

Engaging Stakeholders and Policy to Address Challenges in Seed Quality in the Horticulture Industry of Uganda: A Case of Tomato and Pepper 

Summary of the Problem 

Despite their high value and potential to drive development in Uganda, horticulture crops are not considered ‘food security’ crops, and as such, most of the government mandate for formal seed channels caters for cereals and legumes. In fact, a seed sub-sector analysis in 2015 revealed that the formal system contributes only 15% of the estimated national certified seed requirements, of which about 70% is maize seed (NSP, 2018). Seed for horticultural crops fall under the remaining 85% of seed planted in the country that is obtained from informal sources, mainly farm-saved seed; local markets; and social networks. As such, the seed that farmers use is of questionable quality, creating conditions for disease especially viral proliferation in farmers’ fields in a vicious cycle that hinders development.

Description of the Innovation

This cycle of using low-quality seeds can be broken through strengthening the national seed policies including policies for seed quality standards, mechanisms for regulation, and prioritizing technical training and support to seed scientists and technicians. Prof Jeninah’s team will involve farmers, agriculture service providers, input dealers, local governments, research and other stakeholders in ideating solutions to the problem of poor seed quality in the horticulture industry, generating a bottom-up roadmap for implementation of key sections of the national seed policy. Uniquely, this approach will also provide training to increase the technical human capacity in seed quality assurance on a national scale. The team has already identified key stakeholders and will engage them at sectoral and/or collective levels to better understand the challenges from their perspective. Initial project activities will focus on demonstrating the urgency of prioritizing changes to Uganda seed policies, establishing linkages and partnerships with other stakeholders, and supporting farmers and farmer organizations to improve their seed quality. 

Design Team Members

  • Samuel Kyamanywa, Professor, Department of Agricultural Production
  • Mildred Ssemakula, Senior Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Production
  • Ddamulira Gabriel, Head, Horticulture program, National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)
  • Fred Muzira, officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF)
  • Daniel Kituzi, Farmer and Entrepreneur