Tackling the Pre-Basic Seed System Bottleneck
Quality seed is the starting point for any successful agricultural venture and a functioning sweetpotato seed system contributes to food security and income generation. The transition between breeder and pre-basic (i.e. first generation or foundation) seed production is a major bottleneck in the functioning of an efficient seed system for sweetpotato. This is because of: limited incentives to maintain breeder seed; a lag in investment in human capacity and facilities for pre-basic seed production; inadequate coordination between seed demand and supply; together with unreliable funding streams.
There are initiatives to develop and test different seed system technologies and innovative partnership business models to increase the multiplication rate for sweetpotato and improve the consistent supply of quality, early generation seed.
These initiatives aim to strengthen technical, financial and institutional capacities for the sustainable production of pre-basic sweetpotato seed. They also explore innovative partnership business models between public research programmes and private entities that would contribute to the broad goal of developing commercially viable seed systems.