Overview of DTMASS
DTMASS’ focus is on incentive-based scaling, considering both the supply and demand sides of the improved maize seed value chain. The project integrates technical support by CIMMYT’s breeding, socioeconomics, and agronomy experts with the expertise and networks of in-country public and private partners. Concerning supply, DTMASS works with producers and regulatory agencies on seed production, foundation seed supply, and quality assurance/quality control. With demand, focus is on distribution – working with in-country partners to identify and train agrodealers and local farmer networks on the benefits of drought tolerant maize (DTM), conducting outreach on proper crop management, and building marketing capacity for producers and retailers to maximize distribution and sales of DTM.
Funded by USAID, and implemented by CIMMYT, the DTMASS project will achieve its objectives by leveraging in-country partnerships and networks, including with national agricultural research agencies, seed production companies, agro-dealers, and smallholder farmers. The project runs until October 2018, and has presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Zambia.
Sustainably increase the availability of prioritized new drought tolerant maize varieties in target areas (Supply)
The strategy to achieve this is rather straight-forward: technical and cash support to build capacity. The key incentive and measure of independent production is the ‘graduation criteria’ which requires that seed companies decrease their dependence on CIMMYT for pre-basic seed, because without measureable progress, partners will lose support (incentive). Even small companies that can’t produce their own will be encouraged to procure in-country, not from CIMMYT.
As far as quality assurance is concerned, DTMASS strives to go beyond routine (and repeat) technical support for in-country seed inspectors, and certification and registration agents. The target and measure is to facilitate both public and private quality assurance agents to streamline, improve, and speed DT maize variety release at scale, while providing the quality assurance needed to earn consumer (farmer) confidence. While some small grants for equipment procurement will be given, the main support will be training, and enduring technical assistance that builds institutional (not just individual) in-country capacity.
Incentivize smallholder maize farmers, especially women, to take up new DT maize varieties (Demand)
Activities in this objective include: 1. Marketing support for seed company partners.
2. Multi-media awareness campaigns.
3. DT maize branding and packaging.
4. Design and implementation of a weather based index insurance product.
5. Communications and Public Relations for increasing awareness.
6. Research (baseline surveys, RCTs, e.t.c).
Enhance project impacts through effective performance and knowledge management
1. Complexity aware data to inform management and processes.
2. Performance based financing (graduation criteria) for production partner.
3. Country profiles for each of six target countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Zambia).