Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Seed System for Cassava (BASICS) in Nigeria is a 4-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that seeks to create a commercially viable private sector cassava seed system in Nigeria that is compliant with improved seed certification standards implemented by the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC).
The project addresses the continuum of certification standards, from pre-basic to certified seed, and explicitly recognises the requirement for all cassava seed material that is sold or otherwise exchanged between growers to be certified. The project is to take on new seed production methods, alongside new ways of organising production, most notably by creating linkages with the cassava industrial sector and by forming farmer community groups as seed agents.
A critical component of the project is built around seed quality and the strengthening of the government seed agency, NASC, so that it is well-tooled and skilled to provide an efficient certification service at all levels of scaling-up from pre-basic through to final certification. Compliance with the requirements of planting material to be certified will then become the norm for all vested players that share or move cassava planting material in Nigeria.