By Florence Sipalla
Seed companies play an important role in providing smallholder farmers access to improved seed. CIMMYT’s breeding and seed systems teams have been supporting Afriseed – a brand produced under the flagship of Stewards Globe Limited – to build its product offering. The company has recently added maize hybrids (GV635 and GV638) to its portfolio, including open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) and legumes such as beans, cowpeas, groundnuts and soybeans.
Stewards Globe has received technical assistance through the CIMMYT-led Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) and Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for the Eastern Province of Zambia (SIMLEZA) projects. “We don’t have a breeding program, and we need the partnership until we are big enough to breed,” said Stephanie Angomwile, the acting chief executive officer at Stewards Globe, which has been working with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) since 2010. Both AGRA and DTMA are funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF), while SIMLEZA is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).