Demand led Plant Variety Design for Emerging Markets in Africa
The aim of the project on Demand led Plant Variety Design for Emerging Markets in Africa is to accelerate uptake and use of new crop varieties that meet farmer needs, consumer preferences and market demand in Africa. These new varieties are designed to meet client needs by connecting plant breeders with crop value chains, seed distribution organizations and encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship in transforming agriculture in Africa.
Central to the transformation of agriculture in Africa is identifying market demand and developing new products with suitable characteristics to meet market requirements. Such demand can originate from producers, processors, and/or consumers. A more customer focussed approach to plant varietal design will affect public and private sector plant breeding programs. Decisions on determining the preferred traits for which to breed new varieties are paramount for success. Private sector companies have considerable experience worldwide in developing new crop varieties that fit the needs of customers. This experience in plant variety design can add value to public as well as private sector breeding programs in emerging economies. As economies mature and markets expand, it can be expected that the private companies will also become increasingly involved in breeding new high performing varieties (HPVs) to meet customer requirements and market demand in emerging economies.
Project Goal and Objectives
To contribute to the transformation of African agriculture by enabling small scale farmers to better participate in local and regional markets, by increasing the availability and adoption of high performing plant varieties that meet market demands.
Best practices in plant variety design
To enable plant breeders to develop new high performing varieties that meet customer requirements and market demand, by having increased access to and ability to implement start-of-the art knowledge, methodologies and best practices from the public and private sectors on demand led plant variety design
Education and training
To build capacity within plant breeding programs on demand led variety design, through strengthening education and training programs for plant breeders, including through post graduate curriculum development and new professional development programs on demand led plant variety design for plant breeders in Africa
The project will seek to understand and learn from best practices in plant variety design globally, in the private sector and in leading public research agencies with outstanding track records in uptake of their research outputs. The project will test the thesis that market-led product development by public and private sector research agencies will lead to increased availability and higher levels of uptake of new high performing crop varieties that enhance productivity and profitability of the target crops in selected countries of Africa.
Success in demand-led plant breeding depends on the following factors: Breeding targets and quantitative goals are set; new varieties reach and fulfil client expectations; a development strategy is designed for each new variety; a delivery investment plan is in place; and emphasis is given to the views of both farmers and consumers from rural and urban areas. [Success in demand-led plant breeding will be determined by the adoption and use of the new varieties that meet the market-led demands throughout crop value chains.
The intended research outcome is that plant breeders in Africa will adopt more demand-led approaches to plant breeding, including in the design of new plant varieties that respond to the preferences of farmers, consumers and others along the value chain.
The project aims to;
Encourage market-led approaches
Encourage market-led approaches to determine breeding targets within crop improvement programs, especially in Africa. This will enable research leaders to have access to and interpretation of high-quality data about a range of business drivers and views of stakeholders.
Develop, disseminate and communicate
Develop, disseminate and communicate about a set of new decision support tools that will enable R&D programs in Africa to obtain and evaluate information about market demands and use this information to set targets and product specifications within plant breeding programs;
Policy analysis and advocacy
To provide evidence to support new policy development and investments in plant breeding that will help generate more high performing varieties to meet emerging market demands, with emphasis on Africa