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Providing quality seed of improved varieties is the key to invigorate vegetable production in East Africa

Amaranth breeder Fekadu Dinssa in a field of fine amaranth specimens.

Growing populations and rising incomes in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in urban areas, are increasing market demand for vegetables as consumers seek to diversify their diets. With quality seed, farmers can meet this demand by producing the nutritious vegetables consumers want, and thus realize higher profits.

“Unleashing the economic power of vegetables in Africa through quality seed of improved varieties” funded by UKaid aims to develop hardy and nutritious amaranth, tomato, chili pepper, and mungbean varieties for East Africa and develop the structures and mechanisms to strengthen the supply of quality seed throughout the region.

The project has three main activity areas:

I. Strengthening quality vegetable seed supplies in Africa

  • Establish a vegetable breeding consortium for Africa
  • Develop a multilocation testing network
  • Identify farmer and consumer needs (variety characteristics and pest management needs)
  • Carry out trials of about 20 varieties
  • Set up demonstration and on-farm trials
  • Build capacity in seed production and variety development
  • Review vegetable seed policies and regulations to remove constraints to seed sector development
  • Monitoring and evaluation

II. Triggering a mungbean transformation in Africa

  • Characterize a mungbean mini-core collection representing the genetic diversity in the WorldVeg genebank collection
  • Test high potential mungbean lines in multilocation variety trials
  • Promote improved lines and good agricultural practices to farmers
  • Build capacity of national mungbean researchers
  • Establish “seed villages” for production of quality seed
  • Develop recommendations for mungbean market development
  • Monitoring and evaluation

III. Strengthening Center-wide Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and impact assessment

  • Develop improved monitoring systems for scaling projects
  • Collect baseline data to support UK aid scaling efforts
  • Quantify returns on investment (ROI) for mungbean in Asia
  • Long-term studies to measure the sustainability of impact
  • Improve the quality of ongoing impact studies
  • Strengthen the capacity of WorldVeg in M&E and impact assessment

Project Coordinator
Pepijn Schreinemachers, WorldVeg East and Southeast Asia

Project Management
Jui‐Kai Li, WorldVeg Taiwan

Subproject Manager, Activity Area 1 (Strengthening seed supplies in Africa)
Peter Hanson, WorldVeg West and Central Africa Coastal & Humid Regions

Subproject Manager, Activity Area 2 (Mungbean transformation in Africa)
Ramakrishnan Nair, WorldVeg South Asia

Subproject Manager, Activity Area 3 (Center-wide Monitoring & Evaluation)
Pepijn Schreinemachers, WorldVeg East and Southeast Asia

Other Team Members

WorldVeg Eastern and Southern Africa
Thomas Dubois
Fekadu Fufa Dinssa
Justus Ochieng

WorldVeg West and Central Africa – Coastal & Humid Regions
Victor Afari-Sefa
Caleb Olanipekun
Judith Honfoga

WorldVeg West and Central Africa – Dry Regions
Kabirou Ndiaye
Wubetu Bihon Legesse

WorldVeg East and Southeast Asia
Stuart Brown
Lutz Depenbusch

WorldVeg Taiwan
Srinivasan Ramasamy
Lawrence Kenyon
Paola Sotelo-Cardona
Sanjeet Kumar
Derek Barchenger
Mohamed Rakha
Maureen Mecozzi

Start date: 1 May 2018
End date: 30 September 2020

Project countries

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WorldVeg is a leader in breeding tropical tomato.

Mungbean. This nutritious legume grows fast, enriches soil, and fits in well with grain crop rotations.