MASAP - Markets and Seeds Access Project

This initiative promotes the utilization of quality seeds of drought tolerant small grains and legumes through support to farmers’ organisations and enterprises, private sector engagement and evidence-based advocacy. 94’000 smallholders will benefit from increased market participation, higher incomes, and consumption of nutritious diets.  It is implemented by NIRAS with the Community Technology Development Organisation and the Swiss-based Research Institute of Organic Agriculture.

Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Household food security
Agricultural services & market
Agricultural co-operatives & farmers’ organisations
01.08.2020 - 30.11.2025
CHF  9’850’000
Background Women and children tend to be disproportionately impacted by food insecurity and malnutrition, which are related to an overreliance on the maize staple, combined with increasingly frequent drought episodes. Access to diverse climate adapted seed varieties is a major constraint. Commercial markets fail to provide adequate seeds of small grains and legumes resulting in farmers lacking access to them. These crops are important for women and their families’ nutritional needs, income and climatic environment. There are weaknesses and distortions in the seed sector, including poor governance, non-inclusive policies, biased investments favouring limited crops and lack of systematic coordination and collaboration among seed system actors. With its long-term investments that have enhanced the availability of affordable diversified crop varieties in Southern Africa, Switzerland has become a prominent and trusted partner in the seeds sector, and it thus well positioned to support this initiative.
Objectives Strengthened seed value chains and increased utilisation of improved and diverse seed varieties of small grains and legumes contribute to resilient livelihoods of smallholders in Zimbabwe and Zambia. 
Target groups

The primary target group are 94’000 smallholder farmers (470’000 beneficiaries) of which 60% are women and youth.

The secondary group are farmers’ associations, local seed companies, Agriculture Ministry departments (seed services, crop breeding institutions and extension) civil society organisations and policy makers. 

Medium-term outcomes

1.    Smallholder farmers – in particular women, youth and other marginalised groups - have nutritious food and higher incomes.

2.    Sustainable and predictable availability and access to affordable quality seed and related services by smallholder farmers through increased engagement of the private sector.

3.    Gender and youth responsive enabling policy environment supportive of small grains and legumes sectors’ needs and interests developed. 


Expected results:  

1.    Community owned enterprises and associations are empowered to provide services that meet the demands and needs of women, youth and other marginalised groups.

2.    Private and public sectors are incentivised and strengthened to provide access to seeds, on-farm technologies, finance and markets

3.    Increased availability and usage of evidence related to wider small grains and legumes production, processing and marketing.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Other partners
NIRAS - a Scandinavian multidisciplinary consulting limited company headquartered in Denmark - with sub-contractors, Community Technology Development Organisation and Swiss-based Research Institute of Organic Agriculture. 
Coordination with other projects and actors Synergies with the Seed and Knowledge Initiative, Strengthening Agrobiodiversity in Southern Africa, Opportunities for Youth Employment as well as the Pan African Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) the Integrated Seed Sector Development Seed project, and other seed projects funded by USAID, EU, KfW, and Oxfam Novib will be strengthened. 
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’850’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’055’891 Budget of the organisation CHF    0 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   25’000’000