Seeds of success: new models for selection of best varieties by Zambian farmers

In Sub-Saharan Africa, climate change, depletion of natural resources and recurrent food insecurity require a paradigm change toward a more resilient agriculture. Plant breeding has an important role to play in this transition.


  • Lead school School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute HAFL Institut Hugo P. Cecchini
  • Research unit International Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration (planned) 01.07.2021 - 31.07.2024
  • Project management Nathalie Oberson
  • Head of project Nathalie Oberson
  • Project staff Nathalie Oberson
  • Partner KWS Saat SE & Co. KGaA


The expected results of the research project are : 1. An effective and efficient participatory approach for large-scale variety testing and evaluation with farmers is available, assessed and validated. 2. The diversity of farmers’ preferences and needs for varieties of maize and sorghum is documented; and the most important selection criteria for female and male farmers are analyzed and better understood. 3. Farmers’ seed management is assessed for maize, sorghum and at least one legume crop. 4. Options for a sustainable, smallholder-inclusive, commercial seed business (with win-win situations for all stakeholders) are identified and assessed using model calculations and scenario analyses.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 2: Zero hunger