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  • Naume Kalinaki


Exploring impacts of participatory plant breeding using the farmer field schools on upholding the farmer-managed seed system in communities.

Date: 6th June 2024

Time: 2:30 pm – 3:40 pm EAT (70 minutes)


Background and rationale

Seeds are vital for ensuring food and nutrition security and play a crucial role in agriculture. In Uganda, the shortage of desired and high-quality plant genetic resources remains a barrier to small-scale agriculture and threatens food and nutritional security, especially amid changing environmental conditions. The majority of Ugandans are small-scale farmers who rely on farm-saved seeds obtained through farmer-managed seed systems (FMSS), which are inadequately supported by legal frameworks and Scientific research. Technological advancements, market influences, and evolving legal systems have transformed seeds into commercial proprietary resources. Consequently, small-scale farmers have shifted from active producers to passive consumers of industrial goods, including seeds, with modern agricultural practices. This transition has increased financial and ecological burdens while eroding farmers' control over resources and production methods, leaving them vulnerable to private ownership and consumption.


To tackle these seed challenges faced by small-scale farmers, ESAFF Uganda collaborated with Oxfam in Uganda and PELUM Uganda implemented the Sowing Diversity equals Harvesting Security (SD=HS) program. This program aimed to enhance farmers' access to and utilization of crop diversity, strengthen their seed systems, and promote healthy nutrition within communities using the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach to Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB). With guidance from scientists and local extension staff, farmers were trained in breeding and selection techniques. Through this process, they evaluated new varieties, and refined existing ones to suit their preferences. The farmers adopted the methodology and worked on several crops for example; maize, groundnuts, soybean, and beans, among others, they successfully selected and enhanced the best-adapted varieties for their communities, multiplicated and shared seeds among themselves hence addressing the rampant seed challenges they were facing.


Information and knowledge products have been co-created and therefore, in this webinar, we are bringing together different stakeholders in the seed sector with the following objectives:

  1. To discuss the impacts of farmer field schools on the access and use of quality seeds by small-scale farmer.

  2. To explore the existing opportunities for the farmer field school to upscale their seed work to enhance their income and livelihoods.

  3. To create a platform for stakeholders to network, collaborate, and establish partnerships to support FFS initiatives and scale-up successful practices.



  1. Introduction

  2. Welcome remark and scene-setting

  3. Community experience sharing – keynote by Akello Hellen, FFS Master Trainer on PPB

  4. Panel of discussants – including Anna Sofia from CIDI Soroti, Charles Opiyo from Oxfam in Uganda and Max Olupot from the African Centre for Field Schools and Innovation (ACFiSICo)

  5. Breakout session

  6. Report from Breakout sessions

  7. Closing


Registration link:

Register in advance for this webinar:



In case you need more information or support, please write to Naume Kalinaki at 


1 Comment

Jun 06

Looking forward to great interactions and actions for scaling out this important Initiative.

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