What is SeedAssure?

SeedAssure is a global alliance of organisations that can work digitally via a complete, real-time software platform that helps high quality seed through the supply chain.

The applications on the platform are well-tested, with over 20 million successful mobile checks to date. SeedAssure has provided many African companies real-time decision-making capabilities while ensuring continuous improvement in their seed supply chains.

SeedAssure works across markets by effectively harmonizing global seed standards for multiple crops at national, regional, and international levels and by sharing, linking or integrating this data at every level in the supply chains.

The subsequent quality assurance and traceability, boosts investor confidence with seed producers, wholesalers, buyers, and growers as well as global investors looking to procure and trade in Africa. Making these investments safer SeedAssure aims to improve the quality, assurance, and traceability of all seed products spurring investment in the seed sector and contributing to economic growth and food security across the region.

What is the problem?

Access to healthy viable seed for all farmers. Seed is critical for food security, yet a major bottleneck to a vibrant seed industry lies within the certification process and the natural ageing process of certified seed moving along the supply chain. What was certified as high quality seed, can become low or poor quality seed if conditions are not to agreed standards throughout the entire supply chain. In the early 1990s, ‘Structural Adjustment Programs’ (SAPs) privatised many parastatal seed companies and opened up the seed sector to private investment in many countries, spurring a proliferation of commercial seed companies and to some extent creating what is now estimated to be a $42 Billion global industry that has increased the choice of crops and varieties available to farmers through the commercial sector.

If fully deployed, the ‘SeedAssure - Digital Inspection - Certification & Management’ Scheme will bring together trade and investment in global seed sectors and catapult access to improved seed products to farmers throughout their supply chains.

Before reaching the farmer, new seed varieties go through multiple levels of production and approval, each requiring a quality inspection process to be completed and reported. This comes with risk of failure or rejection at each stage.

Seed quality control and certification has remained largely in the public domain where the capacity of public seed institutions struggle to keep pace with the sector’s expansion. Globally, regulatory agencies are overwhelmed by local seed production and consumption needs and also with imports and exports of seed. With the expanded private sector requests, and limited resources and tools to handle the workload, digitization of the seed value chain offers promise for improved efficiency and productivity in producing and certifying seed.

It is important that a global scheme such as SeedAssure work with the seed industry to overcome production challenges and potential biosecurity threats that accompany the frequent movement of large volumes of seed around the world. Currently, quality assurance systems are still largely paper-based and are not linked or interoperable with digital systems of institutions of countries through which seed must pass. As a result seed inspection work often backlogs, and avoidable misdiagnoses occur, creating significant risk for commercial producers, dis-incentivizing new product adoption, variety turnover, and regional trade.

Whilst the setting of seed standards and certification is primarily in the public domain, several countries have supported the privatization of inspection services to delegate the high workload. Maintaining a single, professional ‘tried and tested’ standard and a single unifying platform, to manage all the data generated by these new corps of Inspectors would be ideal for the public and private sectors.

It is recognised that a wider and more cohesive effort is needed across the Common Markets and their seed systems like COMESA, European Union, USA because seed productions are international and interlinked with regular movements across borders and between countries as companies seek the most productive agroecological zones for all their varieties.  This brings with it the objective of putting in place a fully functional Seed Assurance System that will allow seed to be produced to standard where ever in the world that seed is being bred, maintained, bulked, processed or consumed.   Have access to the SeedAssure technology thereby enhances the capacity of the private sector to produce quality seed and in turn the public sector to support quality seed inspection and certification at a pace and scale that matches the demands of the ever more international seed market.

Seed Assure

Our Vision

“More seed traded safer across more markets, that is produced more sustainably and efficiently to high quality standards and at lower cost”

Our Solution

To provide a digital platform called SeedAssure on which public and private seed inspectors can conveniently conduct field inspections, capturing and sharing real-time field data on the performance of the seed field as stipulated law, while supporting the inspectors with advisory on best practice and likely production outcomes.

SeedAssure is a digital data platform that is easy-to-use, customizable, and readily integrated into multiple systems. The software employs standardized, up-to-date quality measures and disease monitoring modules. It is not a ‘reinvention of the wheel’, but supports existing ‘tried and tested’ methodologies used for years in seed inspection and simply sets out to make processes faster, more efficient, more effective and more sustainable for all partners in the supply chain.

How it Works

Who We Are

Cellsoft Technologies™, based in Kenya, develops and distributes software applications and platforms for the African agricultural sector. Muddyboots Software® (MBS) is a software house that specializes in Supply Chain Management Applications and has grown to serve over 80 countries in the last 20 years; Cellsoft has been the exclusive distributor of Muddy Boots Software systems in Africa for more than 13 years. The combined capability of both businesses is extensive: MBS already has a suite of five major management platforms (www.muddyboots.com), and is developing Pesticide database management apps; Quality Control solutions; expanded Farm Management and Supplier Approval apps. Cellsoft’s portfolio includes a variety of software products and services, including a range of farm-based and supply chain and processor management software designed to ensure end to end quality control and tracking, and is currently  expanding to factory and produce management tools for the Agri Processing market. Together, these businesses have been supplying—and servicing—innovative digital solutions to the Agribusiness sector in East and southern Africa for over a decade.