Seed Quality Management

What is Quality seed?
Quality seed is varietally pure, has high germination percentage, and is disease-free.​

What is certified seed?
Certified seed is seed that meets certain minimum standards for purity defined by law and is certified by the designated seed certification agency. A certificate (or tag) is issued to attest to the quality of the seeds. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has set standards for certified seed yam. A seed entrepreneur should review local requirements for seed certification protocols.

Yam Quality Management Protocol​
The YIIFSWA program introduced new propagation methods for yam, and many of the certification parameters were unsuitable for these new methods. The program helped to develop new procedures to certify seed yam from the new propagation methods. This IITA Seed Yam Quality Assurance presentation outlines the seed standards and the certification methods.

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Quality Seed Production

Hydroponics Seed Production​
Seed entrepreneurs should invest in virus testing to check plants for disease. In the foundation seed stage, two tests are required during the production cycle, one for the vegetative part and another for the tubers. Seed companies can purchase kits to perform on-site testing or send samples to a laboratory for testing.

Open Field Seed Production​
There are several recommended best practices when selecting the fields for planting minisetts and preparing the land. Below is an excerpt from IITA’s Seed Yam Production from Minisetts: A training manual. Download and review the manual in the tools for full details and guidelines.

Field selection​

  • Selected fields should be free of soil-borne diseases, pests, and nematodes. ​
  • Land that has been under continuous cultivation of yam should be avoided (avoid fields used for yam production in past three years).​
  • Fields should be at least 500m away from common yam production fields.​
  • Soils should be loamy, well-drained and free from stones​.
  • Fertile land that has been under fallow will produce a good result.

To support your evaluation of quality seed, this tool has been developed. ​

IITA’s Seed Yam Production from Minisetts: A training manual

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Next SEction:
Harvest and Post-Harvest Activities

The next section provides information on harvest and post-harvest activities.