Research into improved seed varieties, especially drought-tolerant ones, is vital for improving food security in southern Africa. Through a Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Capstone, an independent South African seed company, entered into a joint venture with Peacock Enterprises Ltd of Malawi to multiply and market "CAP9001."
The CAP9001 variety of maize seed was developed specifically to maximize yield potential in small scale, rain-fed, drought-vulnerable farming systems.
To enable Peacock Enterprises to offer a varied selection of high quality maize hybrids at affordable prices, contributing to food security and the resilience of rural communities in Malawi.
- Smallholder maize producers in Malawi.
Results and Outcomes
- CAP9001 certified maize hybrid seed was made available in Year 1 and was planted by smallholder farmers.
- A second seed variety was developed by Peacock as a result of the grant (although not directly funded under the grant), Peacock 10.
- The seeds are in high demand, and new distribution channels for the hybrid seed now include government, larger seed companies such as Seedco, NGOs, and commercial buyers.
- Capstone Seeds exported parent seed to Malawi for the 2014/15 growing season while establishing trials in Mozambique for new seed maize varieties. Capstone successfully tested maize hybrid seed varieties and soybean seed varieties in four provinces in Mozambique—Maputo, Nampula, Manica, and Tete—in preparation to register the seeds in Mozambique and commercially multiply them for the local market.
- In August 2015, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture gave Peacock Enterprises one of their annual awards: the second prize for best seed in the region went to CAP9001 for its drought-resistant, high-yielding qualities.
- Peacock is now selling seed back to Capstone Seeds in South Africa and exporting to other countries in the region such as Botswana, Lesotho, and Namibia.
Photo: Felix Dumbe, Founder and President of Peacock Seeds, holding Peacock’s CYMMIT award at Peacock headquarters in Lilongwe, Malawi