AgricultureCrop production

Theme pack

Here is our theme pack for August, this time featuring resources about seeds. The majority of human food starts as seeds, especially the seeds of cereal crops, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruit. Planting materials such as cuttings are also included in the broad definition of “seed,” as they are used to propagate varieties of many plants. With these kinds of planting materials, a new plant grows from a fragment of the parent plant, for example, a cutting, tuber, vine, or bulb.

The quality and characteristics of the seed strongly influence the yield and qualities of the harvested crop. Seeds can also be consumed as food in several forms, including spices, beverages, and cooking oils. Seeds and seed products are also fed to livestock. This is also an important issue because it’s important to know how policy and legislation in different countries impacts on farmers’ ability to use, breed, and sell seeds.


This pack has 18 elements, including five backgrounders, four interview scripts, two series of radio spots, and seven Barza Wire stories. Many of the resources discuss general issues with seeds and indigenous or improved seed varieties, while a few address seeds and planting for particular crops. Search our website for more resources on other crop varieties. There is one resource available in Swahili.


Seeds and seed breeding

Starting a community seed bank: A four-part series (online)


Selecting seeds and storing them for next season with agroecological principles

Restoring the past for a brighter future: Recovering and improving traditional seeds in Safo, Mali

Ethiopian farmers restore indigenous seed varieties

Resources on specific crops

Domesticating forest fruits to increase farmers’ income

Increasing sustainability in the cocoa value chain through locally-adapted climate-smart practices

Cowpea production

Sorghum production

Radio spots on rice

Radio spots on maize, part 2

Barza Wire stories

Benin: Producing local seeds (AgribusinessTV)

Nigeria: High cost of improved maize seeds forces small-scale farmers to plant saved seed

Senegal: Farmers multiply local seeds

Togo: Farmers increase cashew production with improved seeds

Ethiopia: Farmers multiply indigenous seeds to achieve food security

Mali: Farmers benefit from program to recover traditional seeds

Tanzania: High cost and low supply frustrate maize farmers looking for hybrid seeds

The following resource is available in Swahili:

Kuchagua mbegu na kuzihifadhi kwa msimu ujao kwa kuzingatia kanuni za kilimo

We hope that this kind of “one-stop shop” on selected topics is useful, and that you can use the resources in this month’s theme pack to make effective programming on seeds.