Seed Systems – Improving Seed Quality for Smallholders
Drying beads with seeds.
See more photos in our Drying beads album on Flickr.
Target Country: Nepal, Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda
Principal Investigator: Kent J. Bradford, University of California, Davis
- Luke Colavito, International Development Enterprises (iDE), Nepal
- Jwala Bajracharya, Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Nepal
- Indra Raj Pandey, Center for Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED), Nepal
- Roger Day, CABI Africa (Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International), Kenya
- Keshavulu Kunusoth, Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, India
- Johan Van Asbrouck, Rhino Research, Thailand
- Ganesh Shivakoti, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand
This project builds on a completed Immediate Impact Project.
Improving the ability of smallholders to access high-quality seeds of improved varieties of horticultural crops is fundamental to increasing productivity and incomes. Traditional seed production and storage methods in humid tropical regions without temperature and moisture control result in rapid deterioration of seed quality.
With collaborating institutions and partners, this project will demonstrate and implement a novel seed drying and storage technology (desiccant drying beads) that can dramatically improve seed quality and longevity for smallholders in tropical climates. The project will:
- Organize international workshops, in collaboration with Horticulture CRSP's Regional Centers of Innovation, to publicize the availability of drying beads, to solicit additional local cooperators and to explore additional applications in germplasm conservation and dried horticultural products;
- Conduct socio-economic and technical analyses of horticultural seed production, distribution and marketing value chain in focus countries to identify critical points where seed quality is at risk;
- Provide technology support and on-site advice to assist cooperators in establishing improved seed production, storage and utilization procedures in their own operations or among their stakeholders;
- Establish sustainable, market-based systems for enabling local adoption of improved seed production, handling, storage and distribution procedures;
- Build local technical capacity through extension educational programs focusing on producing and maintaining high seed quality; and
- Enhance economic opportunities for women, who represent the majority of workers engaged in horticultural seed production, preservation and utilization.
This comprehensive project will disseminate a novel, economical and appropriate technology to improve seed quality and enhance the horticultural value chain, particularly in humid climates.
- Poster about how to use the beads: Using Drying Beads to Maintain Seed Quality in Humid Regions (PDF)
- Poster from 2014 annual meeting: The Dry Chain Can Maintain Seed Quality in Humid Regions (PDF)
- Flier from 2014 annual meeting: Seed Systems - Improving Seed Quality for Smallholders (PDF)
- More information about the Horticulture Innovation Lab's work with drying beads: Previous Drying Beads Project
- More information about drying beads from Rhino Research: Drying Beads website