The role of quality seeds in food security cannot be underestimated. International agricultural experts on Tuesday called for establishment of a viable system for the production and supply of quality and high-yielding seeds to help boost food security in Africa.
The experts from the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Africa’s agricultural think tank said quality seeds are key solution to transforming Africa’s underdeveloped agricultural sector.
AGRA Vice President Program Development and Innovation Joe DeVries told journalists in Nairobi that the seed sector holds Africa’s green revolution in agriculture’s development plan.
“The agricultural productivity growth in Africa has historically been a failure to provide Africa’s farmers access to higher yielding seeds,” DeVries said during the launch of a book that profiles seed system in Nairobi.
He noted that African farmers have continued to struggle, mostly depending on the same methods used by their grandparents leading to massive hunger and poverty in the continent.
DeVries said the intensification of local farms and national food supply systems has been catalyzed by the introduction and distribution of improved seeds and higher yielding crop varieties.
“We are happy that the continent’s seed sector is now growing tremendously following the adoption of new technologies and support to the farmers and seed producers,” he said
DeVries observed that in the past 10 years the number of local seed companies increased from 10 in 2007 to over 110 today in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa.
The companies have produced and marketed over 600,000 MT of high-quality and high-yielding seeds that have improved farmers yields and incomes in the continent.
Titled “Seeding an African Green Revolution”, the “Program for Africa’s Seed Systems”, the book has narrated the challenges faced, the many successes achieved and outline the work that remains to be done.
The book that was written by AGRA is aimed at providing solutions to key bottlenecks to agricultural development that is critical to the Africa’s economic prosperity.