Issoufou Kapran is a sorghum breeder with PhD in plant breeding and genetics from Purdue university in the USA, where also he was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award.
He has effectively released sorghum varieties and hybrids at the national system of his native country of Niger since the early 1990s. Among his achievements there is the release of the very first sorghum hybrids for cultivation by farmers in Niger, the initiation of a seed unit which promoted the development of local private seed industry through availing foundation seeds and capacity building to seed producers, and the organization of the first West African Hybrid Sorghum and Pearl Millet Seed Workshop to create a momentum for quality seeds in the sub region. In 2007 he joined AGRA as officer for seed production and dissemination for West Africa and contributed to the overall strengthening of the seed value chain in the subregion including breeding, seed production, seed dissemination, and seed policy. In particular he oversaw the development of nearly 50 local private seed companies in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia, which remain the main suppliers of high quality seeds of food crops in those countries. After 10 years at AGRA, he joined ICRISAT to promote the new improved sorghum, millet and groundnut varieties in the West Africa subregion, and lately the Seed Systems Group to contribute his experience to countries with very limited farmer access to improved seeds and other productivity enhancing skills and practices. He also contribute to the work of TASAI (The African Seed Access Index) which collects data about the formal seed sector in African countries with aim to promote well-informed, evidence-based interventions in competitive seed systems..