Planting New Seeds: Innovations in Global Seed Systems

September 23, 2020

Planting New Seeds: Innovations in Global Seed Systems

Webinar, Sept 23, 2020: 09:30 AM to 11:00 AM (GMT -4)

Join EiB Director, Gates Foundation and more. The average age of crop varieties used by many farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to get older, threatening productivity gains. Reversing this long-standing trend is the objective behind recent changes in seed systems, from plant breeding through to a rapid delivery of new crop varieties to farmers. This webinar will provide an overview of these changes, what they are and why they matter for smallholder farmers. 

During this 90-minute presentation and discussion, global experts will provide an up-close look at emerging best practices in seed technology development and transfer that can reverse this situation, including:

● Public-private partnerships and non-traditional market arrangements that transition innovations from the laboratory to seed producers;

● Introduction of a new metric to assess progress;

●  New plant breeding tools and digital applications that speed up R&D and variety release/commercialization; and

●  Tools and practices that ensure that new crop varieties are bred with specific traits and characteristics developed with input from downstream users. 

The webinar will be useful for both technical and non-technical individuals who want to understand how to influence farmer productivity through the adoption of improved seed varieties. 


  • Rob Bertram, USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS), Chief Scientist
  • Gary Atlin, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Senior Program Officer
  • Michael Quinn, CGIAR, Director of Excellence in Breeding Platform
  • Nora Lapitan, USAID/RFS, Center for Ag-Led Growth, Inputs Division Chief
  • Simon Winter, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Executive Director