The exercise was supposed to cover Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Crops to be included were Maize, Sorghum, Pearl millet, Rice, Cowpea, Beans and Groundnuts. Information was to be obtained from the eight countries and two persons to gather the data. Mr Mwila based in Zambia was to cover the following countries: Zambia, Tanzania, Lesotho and Malawi whilst Dr Mpofu based in Zimbabwe was to collect the same information from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland. Faxes were successfully sent to all contact persons in each country except Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The focus in terms of collecting this information was on Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi.
In Zambia the seed companies and other agencies involved in seed production and supply were contacted through fax messages. Second reminders were sent when no responses were forthcoming two weeks after sending the first messages.
Information requested was on the following:
(i) Number of varieties available for each crop
(ii) Variety names
(iii) Variety type (Hybrid, OPV)
(iv) Maturity class
(v) Yield potential
(vi) Special attributes
(viii) Seed stocks currently available
(ix) Seed stocks expected after harvest
(x) Expected surplus from the next harvest