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Contract maize seed production started in Nepal

Maize seed marketing is one of the major challenges faced by the Hill Maize Research Project (HMRP). In the project the seed multiplication program was initiated through community based seed production (CBSP) approach in 2000. A total of 14 tons of improved seed was produced by 7 CBSP groups in that year, and about 1,036 tons was produced through 207 groups in 2012 and 1,216 tons with same number of CBSP groups has been estimated for 2013. In the previous three phases of the project, maize seed produced by CBSP groups was not giving due care on market demand of desired variety and quantity. This created problems in seed marketing. Realizing this fact, the HMRP- IV in 2013 has initiated pre-sowing seed contract (PSSC) for improved maize seed production by signing formal agreements between CBSP groups and private organizations such as agrovets, cooperatives, seed banks and seed companies.

In this context, Tilottama Agriculture Cooperative Ltd., Pokharathok, Palpa, one of the CBSP groups of the HMRP, signed pre-sowing seed contract on 5th February 2013 with Bhandari Agrovet, Tansen-3 Palpa for 2,000 kg seed of the improved maize seed. This contract is believed to be the first in the history of improved maize seed production in the hills of Nepal. In 2013 the project, in coordination with District Agri. Development Office and Seed Entrepreneurs’ Association, Nepal (SEAN), facilitated signing pre-sowing seed contract of 207 tons of improved maize seed between 52 CBSP Groups and 25 private seed buyers/ traders in the project area.