Seed company marketing and promotion

Ensuring that domestic and international seed companies have the capacity to effectively promote and market quality seed of improved varieties is of crucial importance in efforts to transform the seed sector.

It is often assumed that extension services assume and lead this core role. However, companies play a vital role; training extension and advisory service agents and farmers on the options available to them as well as the advanced cultivation practices necessary to maximise the benefits of quality seed and improved varieties in terms of productivity, profitability and market value.

While quality seed and improved varieties are catalysts for raising income and livelihoods, rates of adoption of new varieties and seed replacement of farm-saved with quality seed remain low. Farmers have limited awareness of the benefits, and do not always know what varieties best fit their farming system, agro-ecology and market demands. They are not aware of innovations in seed systems like for example of seed yam, cassava stems, seed of hybrid varieties of crops such maize and tomato, but also quality seed of various other cereals, legumes, root and tuber crops and vegetables.

To stimulate a demand for quality seed and improved varieties for various crops, seed companies are required to invest in seed marketing and promotion to educate potential farmer clients and create market demand.

Topic vision

  • In two years: at least eight domestic and three international seed companies have a strategy for, and engage in the promotion and marketing of quality seed.
  • In five years: at least 15 domestic seed companies, complemented by at least six international companies, are implementing their seed marketing and promotion strategy in a structural manner as part of their business strategy; they are also implementing an awareness-raising campaign promoting quality seed use.

Strategic innovation pathway (SIP)

This pathway is presented in the NSRM. The pathway is essentially an agreed set of steps which see partners collaborate and progress the sector from its current status and challenges, through a process of catalytic innovation towards the stated topic ambition(s):

  • Support companies in the implementation of innovative marketing and promotion strategies tailored to farmers.
  • CSP will support companies in the organization of wide-scale variety and seed quality demonstrations and farmers’ field days.