The Seed Sector in Zambia: An Overview

Zambia’s maize seed industry is currently one of the strongest and most competitive in Sub- Sahara Africa. The seed sector in Zambia is highly pluralistic and divided into the formal and informal sector. The informal sector is mainly comprised of farmer managed seed systems (FMSS) and some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that seek to promote the sector. In this system, farmers are free to share and exchange their seeds for both monetary and none monetary items such as food items or labor. Furthermore, the informal seed sector represents a rich cultural heritage of Africa’s local communities. However the push to transform the seed sector into income-generating commercialized entity owned by a few and to marginalize traditional seed varieties, is still making more headway on paper than in practice.

This study aims to analyze the political and socioeconomic dynamics of the seed sector in Zambia and to give an overview of the legal frameworks, key actors and policies in the sector. It unpacks the critical social, economic, and political issues that surround the seed sector in Zambia.