Skip directly to: Main page content

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Seed Systems – Improving Seed Quality for Smallholders

photo: glass jars with drying beads and seeds, with USAID logo sticker

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


Project Description

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:

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.

Fact sheet:

Project updates:

More information: