Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Senegal

West Africa Seed Alliance


Access to inputs such as improved seed varieties, fertilizer and crop protection products are imperative to the transformation of the agricultural sector. The Seeds Project, part of the West Africa Seed Alliance (WASA), was created to enable the transformation of West African agriculture from subsistence farming to profitable, self-sustaining and competitive commercial agriculture. CNFA implemented the five-year project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), with partners ICRISAT and Iowa State University. The project sought to modernize seed distribution systems, facilitate smallholder farmer access to improved seed varieties, improve seed production technologies, and strengthen links to credit and markets. Specifically, The Seeds Project strengthened West Africa’s seed system across Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.

Programme Approach:

  • Advance the development and implementation of national seed laws and regulations;
  • Create and strengthen private seed enterprises;
  • Provide business management and technical trainings;
  • Produce foundation for certified seed and make available for distribution;
  • Conduct seed variety trials for cereals and vegetables.

Business Management Training: The Agrodealer Business Training Programme built the business capacity of local seed company managers through training on business planning, supply chain management, and marketing. Our six-module training model included: managing working capital, managing stocks, costing and pricing, selling and marketing, record keeping, and managing business relationships.

Agricultural Productivity: The WASA programme worked with local institutions to build agricultural potential in specific focus areas. Bringing improved access to input supplies, availability of technology and technology transfer to farmers, and increased access to credit for rural smallholders, the programme has made significant impacts on production practices throughout WASA countries. Field days were an effective medium in spreading awareness of improved farming methods. With participants spanning from local farmers and agrodealers to government officials and major supply companies, the input system in target countries have seen marked improvement.

Seed and Input Supply systems: WASA aimed to develop viable agricultural inputs systems and support the overall growth of the West Africa agricultural sector by creating a sustainable commercial seed industry that ensures small-scale farmers affordable, timely and reliable access to high quality seeds and planting materials. In cooperation with input supply companies, WASA organized demonstration plots and farmer field days to enhance awareness about new products and technologies.

Technical Training: CNFA worked through input-supply companies and commercial trainers to build capacity on safe usage and handling of products. To complement these trainings, WASA also organizes demonstration plots and farmer field days to enhance awareness about new products and technologies. Field demos provided an excellent educational tool to teach both agrodealers and farmers about new varieties and correct herbicide and fertilizer application.

Output Marketing: WASA linked agrodealers and farmer producer groups to commodity traders and crop processors to create market pull for farmer production, and assisted seed companies and associations in establishing seed marketing strategies.

Programme Impact:

  • 16,218 individuals received short-term agriculture sector productivity training;
  • 1,703 agriculture-related firms benefitting directly from WASA interventions;
  • 108 extension agents trained;
  • 26 seed inspectors/breeders trained.