As a business unit of the IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP), GoSeed is charged with the production and marketing of quality breeder and foundation seeds/planting materials of IITA mandate crops to private seed companies for production, distribution, and sale of quality certified seeds/planting materials to farmers. Awareness and use of quality seeds/planting materials of improved IITA maize, cowpea, soybean, and cassava varieties especially by smallholder farmers will expedite the improvement of their yields, livelihoods, and food and income security. GoSeed activities in 2014 were primarily focused on setting the stage for the full-scale production of breeder and foundation seeds in 2015.
GoSeed seed production activities involved the multiplication of fresh breeder seeds of five open-pollinated maize varieties; four rust resistant varieties of and two cowpea varieties. All are among the maize, soybean, and cowpea varieties most sought by farmers and seed companies in Nigeria. The rationale was to build the seed stocks of the varieties for the production of breeder and foundation seeds of the three crops during the main season of 2015 to meet the expected demand from private seed companies in Nigeria for the ultimate production of quality certified seeds in 2016.
Seed multiplication fields of parental lines of two maize hybrids that farmers and seed companies are excited about were also established at Kudu. In total, 7460 kg of breeder seeds of four maize varieties were produced and about 2000 kg will be used for the 2015 production of breeder and foundation seeds; 5460 kg are available for sale. Similarly, 1000 kg of breeder seeds of two cowpea varieties were produced and 800 kg will be used for 2015 seed production while 200 kg will be available for sale. The 1400 kg of breeder seeds of four soybean varieties will all be used for the 2015 production of breeder and foundation seeds. Additionally, the 6800 kg of maize foundation seeds and 2000 kg of soybean foundation seeds produced will be sold to seed companies (Breeder and foundation seeds produced by GoSeed at Kudu in 2014).
At an estimated selling price of 1000 naira/kg ($5.02) for maize breeder seeds and 750 naira/kg ($3.77) for foundation seeds, it is expected that sales of about 5,460,000 naira ($ 27,437.19) from breeder seeds and 5,100,000 naira ($25,628.14) from foundation seeds will be realized. Also, 400,000 naira ($2010.05) will be realized from selling the 400 kg of cowpea breeder seeds and 1500 naira ($7.54) from selling 200 kg of soybean foundation seeds. Thus, the GoSeed Unit stands to earn about 12.46 million naira ($62,613.06) in breeder and foundation seed sales.