In 1997 ACDI/VOCA launched the Seed Enterprise Enhancement and Development Project (SEED). SEED focused on two complementary areas of agricultural development. First, the project stimulated agricultural production by fostering the development of a domestic seed industry in Georgia, with emphasis on wheat, maize, sunflowers and potatoes. Second, the project provided capital through a localized credit cooperative system, to enhance farmers’ ability to take advantage of new investment opportunities and to receive returns on those investments.
As a result of the project, members of the farming and agribusiness community in Georgia have witnessed the advantages of having a reliable domestic seed market and access to credit. Both allow farmers and producers to expand from local subsistence farming to larger-scale regional operations with the potential to trade with other countries. As the market develops further, employment opportunities and profits are generated.
In 2001, SEED was highlighted in Food: The Whole World's Business, an Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) publication. SEED was selected as an example of how both the United States and developing countries can benefit when investments are made to develop agriculture and food systems in developing countries. To read more, click here.