Digital Extension Supports Seed Systems in South Sudan
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) had been strengthening seed systems in South Sudan and disseminating information of new and improved seed varieties through a Farm Inputs Promotion Services model, which relies on in-person visits and trainings to smallholder farmers to promote uptake of new practices. AGRA requested the support of the Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC) to effectively scale their reach by introducing digital extension approaches in South Sudan.
DLEC conducted farmer and stakeholder needs assessments and identified the need for better training on the use of improved varieties, quality seeds, and fertilizers, as well as on improved seed production practices such as roguing and gap filling for crops like maize, sorghum, groundnuts, and millet. DLEC trained representatives of nine local private seed production companies in the use of Digital Green’s community video approach, which includes how to develop and disseminate short videos, while also creating a system for collecting farmer feedback and tracking progress. By integrating use of video to visually convey the benefits of high-quality seed and improved agronomic practices, these private seed companies were able to increase the number of farmers reached five-fold.
The nine seed companies that DLEC trained in partnership with AGRA have begun using video as one of the tools for delivering information on improved seeds to smallholder farmers. This local ownership of the approach builds sustainability and contributes to the growth of seed systems in South Sudan.
DLEC galvanizes diverse extension and advisory service stakeholders to measurably improve extension programs, policies and services. DLEC is led by Digital Green, in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS).