Strengthening SEEDAN’s Capacity to Transform Nigeria’s Seed Sector

Strengthening SEEDAN’s Capacity to Transform Nigeria’s Seed Sector

Seed has been recognized as central to any agricultural transformation program in the world, it is the main carrier of agricultural development, it is through the seed that taste, biotic and abiotic resistance/tolerance, yield, and maturity period are transmitted to farming and agribusiness. The seed sector is crucial and plays a strategic role in improving productivity in Nigeria’s agriculture sector by providing quality seeds that not only enhance crop yields but are capable of adapting to biotic, and abiotic stresses as well as climate changes, thereby boosting food, income, and ensuring nutrition security. The Collaborative Seed Program (CSP), along with its national partners – National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and Sahel Consulting, and international partners, Wageningen Center for Development Innovation (WCDI) and Plantum, organized a capacity-building workshop to further strengthen the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN).

Figure 1: Group Photograph at the Workshop

SEEDAN, which is the foremost National Seed Trade Association, plays a critical role in driving private sector participation in the Nigerian seed system for sustainability. Key objectives of the two-day capacity-building workshop included understanding SEEDAN’s challenges, learning best practices from successful seed associations, and developing actionable strategies for implementation by SEEDAN. The CSP and partners engaged the services of Dr Mulemia Maina, the managing director of Agri Experience Limited, an organization with long-standing experience in enterprise development and seed trade association structuring, to facilitate the 2-day capacity building workshop with the executive members of SEEDAN to chart a path for the association’s reform.

SEEDAN’s Path to be a “Strong, Reliable and Excellent Provider of Farmers’ Seed Solutions”

Following recent advancements in the Nigerian seed sector, including achieving membership of the International Seed Federation (ISF) observer status, active participation of the Nigerian Seed industry delegation at the 2024 African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) Congress and advanced consideration for membership of The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), along with the revamped electoral processes for SEEDAN, Dr. Ishiak Khalid, NASC Acting Director-General, emphasized that the Nigerian seed system is poised for significant transformation. He highlighted the importance of SEEDAN’s transitioning to a business-based premier seed association in Nigeria as a crucial step in this transformation.  

Dr. Mulemia outlined key governance principles, drawing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGFs) competency basis for seed trade associations in response to the SWOT analysis conducted on SEEDAN during the workshop. Her approach aims to equip the association with strong negotiation and influencing skills, effective leadership, and sound financial management. According to her, “The secret to the success of an association is building value and not profit-making.”

In this process of SEEDAN’s re-strategizing, Chief Daniel Okafor, the Membership and Welfare Officer of SEEDAN calls for their independence, stating “It is time for SEEDAN to stop relying on the government for funding, we need to seek for other sustainable sources and means to provide value for members.”

Figure 2: Cross Section of the Facilitator and Workshop Participants

SEEDAN plays a key role in driving the country’s seed sector reforms. Exemplary associations to emulate are The Seed Trade Association of Kenya (STAK) and Plantum- Netherlands. However, to attain international best practices, SEEDAN must continue to streamline internal processes and steer Nigeria’s seed industry cautiously.  Sustaining its central and influential role in the West African region will involve addressing governance frameworks and engaging stakeholders to transform the sector.

How will SEEDAN Get There? – An Action Agenda for SEEDAN

To achieve the set-out goal, SEEDAN’s reform is streamlined into these strategic steps.

  • Communication and Awareness Creation: Enhance communications by creating a website and using newsletters, social media, and awareness campaigns to establish an effective communication strategy. A data management system will also support evidence-based decision-making.
  • Advocacy: Drive advocacy by influencing government policies in favor of the seed industry. Collaborate with other seed trade associations, research institutes, and international organizations to leverage resources and share best practices, maximizing impact.
  • Value Addition for Members: Provide members with value and promote seed entrepreneurship through mentorship, finance access, market linkages, and capacity building. This should spur success and foster rapid seed industry growth.
  • Adopt Technology: Embrace technology for seed production, processing, and distribution. Promote quality testing equipment, digital seed certification, and seed biotechnology. Conform to international standards and establish export partnerships for market expansion.
  • Multiple Streams of Funds: Diversify funding sources to fortify financial capacity. Forge strategic partnerships, pursue grants and funding, and explore innovative financing models. This will ensure financial sustainability.
  • Quality Control and Monitoring: Implement a monitoring and evaluation framework to assess impact, measure progress, and identify areas for improvement. This will enhance accountability, and transparency, leading to better results.


With these strategic reforms in mind and in motion, the SEEDAN President; Alh. Yusuf A. Kibiya urges SEEDAN executives and its members to embrace change that will usher the association into a new era and position SEEDAN as a leading provider of seed solutions in Nigeria and the West African region. This comprehensive approach will not only strengthen SEEDAN’s governance, financial sustainability, and operational excellence but ultimately catalyze the fulfilment of its vision to transform the Nigerian Seed industry.

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