Reforming a seed system

Posted on:

29 Oct 2015

Onion farmers in Pakistan are fed up with the exorbitant prices and poor quality of onion seed, and they’re doing something about it by reforming their seed supplies. Their approach could be a model for improving seed supplies for other smallholder vegetable growers.

Facilitated by AVRDC and with assistance from the Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) in Quetta, a group of ten farmers decided to do something about the problem by setting up a joint venture for onion seed production.

AVRDC provided the growers with true-to-type onion bulbs of popular open pollinated varieties Sariab Red, Chiltan-89, and Phulkara, and gave training in certified seed production. ARI helped them with harvesting, threshing, grading, certification, and attractive and durable packaging.

“This can be a model for improving the vegetable seed industry in other parts of South Asia where farmers can’t access good seed and traders have neither the incentive nor the skills to produce quality local seed,” said Regional Director Warwick Easdown.

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