SFSA

CASE STUDY

Trial Countries

  • Kenya

  • Uganda

  • India

  • Indonesia

  • Malawi

  • Mali

  • Myanmar

  • Senegal

  • Vietnam

SFSA

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on supporting the productivity of small-scale farmers in developing countries around the world. Its mission is «to strengthen smallholder farming and food systems, we catalyze market development and delivery of innovations while building capacity across the public and private sectors».

SFSA currently operates in a dozen countries across Africa and Asia. One of its primary aims is to help smallholders become more professional and resilient growers, able increasingly to earn good incomes from their harvests. The Syngenta Foundation does this by extending science-based know-how, facilitating access to quality inputs, supporting enabling tools, and linking farmers to markets in profitable ways. This adds value to rural communities, and sustainably improves food security.

SFSA and its partners use QuickTrials for seed variety field testing in nine countries. The trials are part of the Seeds2B program, designed to provide farmers with a better choice of higher-performing varieties. Seed2B undertakes a wide range of trials. These cover agronomy, adaptation, registration assessments, and marketing. All of these types of trials run on the QuickTrials platform, developed in close collaboration with SFSA.

Crops trialed

  • Potato

  • Squash

  • Cowpea

  • Bean

  • Tomato

  • Onion

  • Soya Bean

  • Cabbage

  • Sorghum

  • Eggplant

  • Mung Bean (green Gram)

  • Maize

  • Chickpea

  • Groundnut

  • Sweet Pepper

  • Watermelon

  • Rice

  • Pearl Millet

  • Okra

  • Pigeon pea

“ QuickTrials allows us to digitize the process of field trialing from protocol creation to data capture, validation and export. Functionality available to users is based on their role in the overall process, which makes the tool simple and easy to use.”

Nathalie Vignaux

Seed Variety Trials Conducted

  • Adaptation trials

  • Marketing oriented trials

  • Registration trials

  • Agronomy based trials

Before

Prior to QuickTrials, technicians recorded trial data with pen and paper and then transcribed these into Excel. Entering each data point twice sometimes resulted in errors. The Excel sheets were then e-mailed to Trial Coordinators for checking and manual aggregation. This was a time-consuming and complicated process.

Before each trial started, technical sheets (forms) had to be prepared and distributed to each of the technicians and sites. Changes to the assessment forms or Excel sheets were difficult to coordinate and could result in parallel versions which then needed to be manually consolidated.

The old approach required a lot of manual work to transcribe data, follow up on gaps, and unify the Excel sheets from the various technicians. This meant that results were often not available until 6-8 months after the trial. With QuickTrials, results are usually out in less than one month.

“ QuickTrials allows us to follow a target-driven approach that makes experimentation a lot more efficient.”

Ye Pyae Kyaw

Reporting Delay

Time before trial results are known.

“ Hand-written measurements can be difficult to read. For example 1.5 and 7.5 can look similar. With QuickTrials the data are always clear and it feels good knowing the information is safe. I like it because it’s user f riendly, easy to use and works like magic!.”

Esther Mirie

After

The introduction of QuickTrials has made it easier to initiate new trials since the technical sheets no longer need to be created and distributed. SFSA templates, previous trials, and the global trait library are now used to quickly create a new trial whenever needed. Trial definitions are automatically synchronized to the mobile devices of the field staff involved.

When a trial is underway, coordinators can see the progress of the collected measurements in real-time. This allows them to spot any data gaps early and follow up as needed. If there are questions about any of the data points, the coordinators can quickly contact the relevant technician.

QuickTrials has helped to structure and consolidate all the trial data from different countries. This has made the information a lot more accessible and usable. Now, whenever designing a new trial, it’s easy to examine earlier assessments for past lessons and avoid redundant trials or measurements.

“ QuickTrials facilitates the compilation of data in a way that we can make decisions on seed variety advancements without the need to pull up and synthesize the data manually ”

Nathalie Vignaux

“ One of the biggest benefits of QuickTrials is having all of the trials in one database, which can be accessed by everyone. This provides valuable insight and saves us a lot of time! ”

Sophie Sinelle

QuickTrials also helps identify better-performing varieties for use in regions with limited options. SFSA is able to link trials to a specific objective and portfolio of varieties. Direct integration of QuickTrials with other tools streamlines important workflows. These tools include SFSA’s Impact Model, Performance Monitoring System and Data Warehouse System.

All of this helps the SFSA to initiate, conduct and analyze trials fast and efficiently. The Foundation’s work results in the identification and introduction of better varieties that can improve the livelihood of local farmers. The new varieties carry traits related to productivity, climate resilience and nutrition, which are valued by the seed producers, grain processors and consumers. To date, local farmers have earned an impressive $22.6m profit from the introduced varieties.

Users

Profit to local farmers from introduced varieties

$ 22.6 Million

Top Benefits

  • Easier to initiate trials

  • Fewer transcription errors, better data-validation

  • Able to spot and correct data gaps earlier

  • Data are now more consistent across trials and countries

  • Photos and GPS data are available

  • Less time required to chase people up for information

  • Trial results are available a lot sooner

  • Easier to search and find earlier trials when designing new ones

  • QuickTrials is fully integrated with other SFSA systems

  • Overall trialing process is more streamlined and informative

Nathalie Vignaux

Seeds2B Operational Excellence Lead

Esther Mirie

Project Officer

Ye Pyae Kyaw

Seed Portfolio Manager

Sophie Sinelle

Project Officer Seeds2B

For more information
QuickTrials: www.quicktrials.com