ISSD Africa

Smallholders in Africa need access to affordable quality seeds of the best varieties, especially in fragile and conflict affected states. The phase 2 of the Integrated Seed Systems in Africa, a successful Swiss supported network of seed professionals, focuses on Seed Systems in the Humanitarian, Development, Peace-Nexus, aiming to strengthen resilience to shocks via the development and mainstreaming of state of-the-art tools, methodologies, and policies, adapted to fragile and conflict-affected states. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Agricultural development
Emergency food assistance
Agricultural services & market
01.11.2023 - 31.10.2027
CHF  2’000’000
Background Multiple, overlapping climate and conflict crises are undermining development progresses, plunging millions of people back to poverty and hunger. This is particularly true in fragile contexts, and especially in sub-Saharan Africa hindering smallholder farmers to access high quality, affordable and diversified seed of locally adapted varieties. The result is lack of resilience to shocks, lower farm income, reduced food and nutrition security and loss of agrobiodiversity. Humanitarian, development and peace-building initiatives are mostly disconnected, without synergy and contradictory objectives. What is needed to strengthen seed systems are the development, operationalisation, scaling up and institutionalisation of Humanitarian, Development, and Peace (HDP) Nexus approaches that enables awareness and understanding, collaborative joint action and complementary investments. This will be the key focus of phase 2 of the ISSD Africa project. 

Impact: smallholder farmers in fragile and conflict affected states have improved access to sufficient, high quality, affordable, diversified seed of locally adapted varieties farmers prefer, resulting in increased resilience, higher farm income, improved food and nutrition security and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity.

The main objective of the ISSD Africa phase 2 project is to strengthen a Community of Practice (CoP) comprising humanitarian, development and peace stakeholders (HDP-Nexus), which is able to support, steer, and implement sustainable seed sector interventions particularly adapted to fragile and conflict-affected states in Africa. 

Target groups

Direct beneficiaries: HDP-Nexus partners working in the Seed Sector in Africa; African Governments and the African Union

End beneficiaries: small-scale farmers in Africa and particularly women and youth benefitting from improved seed aid

Medium-term outcomes

• Outcome 1: An enabling structure for the effective facilitation of the CoP is operational and tailored to support the HDP-Nexus •

Outcome 2: An African-grown solution to boost the HDP-Nexus in the seed sector has been developed

• Outcome 3: The integration of ISSD Africa derived insights into HDP-Nexus seed sector interventions and policies are supported 


Expected results:  

• International and African support units are functional and effective

• Action learning projects implemented and delivering results on seed sector development in the HDP-Nexus

• Policy dialogue facilitated using joint learnings on seed sector in the Nexus 

Results from previous phases:  

• Consolidated a Community of Practice in the seed sector in Africa

• Elaborated a range of tools and methodologies on seed sector development widely recognised by seed actors

• Disseminated learnings on improved seed sector interventions and used in policy dialogue endorsed by the AU 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Coordination with other projects and actors The project is a synergetic collaboration between 15 seed system development projects with main partners: Mercy Corps, SeedSystem, USAID-BHA, FAO, CGIAR, IFDC, as well as indirect partners such as WFP, ICRC, etc. Linkages with SDC programs related to seeds and or food systems such as CROPS4HD, KIT, PROFISEM, MASAP, RLP, RAISE, SIRA, K-Rapid and actions of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid (ex. direct action in Ethiopia or others).
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    598’500 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    4’000’000 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   2’157’000 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   4’157’000
Project phases Phase 2 01.11.2023 - 31.10.2027   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.08.2018 - 28.02.2023   (Completed)