An essential role of the SARD-SC project is the production and distribution of new seed stock in the shortest possible time. SARD-SC provides support to countries in obtaining their own seed and increasing stocks. Key to this are Innovation Platforms (IPs) situated in the three hub countries of Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Sudan. The IPs provide funds and support through the technical expertise of the SARD-SC Wheat Teams.
In Ethiopia, the SARD-SC project is actively demonstrating and disseminating improved wheat varieties and associated technologies to small-scale wheat producers. In the 2014 cropping season, six IPs distributed 89.3 tonnes of improved seed to 2394 farmers (2327 men and 67 women).
The Werer Research Center in the lowlands has produced 1.5 tonnes of seed for each of two varieties of bread wheat, Nejmah-14 and Adel-6, and a durum variety, Werer-1. This will be used to further encourage local farmers to adopt new varieties and technologies, and increase existing seed stocks.
The six IPs in Nigeria have distributed more than 34 tonnes of improved wheat seed, mainly Atilla-Gan-Atilla, to 680 farmers. They provide ongoing support and advice on new production techniques to help further consolidate existing stocks.
At the Dire site in Mali, the focus is on increasing seed stocks ready for release. Large plots are being used to increase the stocks of Dire-12, -15, and -16, and Tetra. A total of 300 kg of Dire-12, 275 kg of Dire-16, and 250 kg of Dire-15 has been produced.
Zambia is also concentrating on increasing seed stocks prior to their release. Candidate varieties are being planted on 0.25 ha plots. Seed increases will be assessed by the Variety Certification Agency in October 2014, but they are expected to be in the region of 400 kg for each variety.