Dr. Kouame Miezan, head of the Implementing Agency of the African Union’s Seed Program, AfricaSeeds, called on all actors in the seed sector in Africa to work together to accelerate progress towards a more effective seed trade and marketing on the continent.
“African agricultural transformation will have to rely on efficient seed systems that are able to support a healthy trade of quality seeds, responding to all market needs. And AfricaSeeds is the institution that is mandated to coordinate all efforts to achieve the seed sector goals that Africa has set”, he said.
Speaking at a side event organised on June, 14th, 2019, in Addis Ababa, by AfricaSeeds at the 15th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program Partnership Platform (CAADP PP) meeting, Dr. Miezan presented the framework for seed sector development in Africa, the African Seed and Biotechnology Program (ASBP), and stressed that governments, development partners and other stakeholders should use and promote ASBP as the tool to achieve meaningful change.
AfricaSeeds is best placed to guide these efforts on the continent towards meeting the CAADP goals and targets of the Malabo Declaration as the institution holds key expertise and capacity with regards to the seed sector in Africa.
The theme of the meeting this year was ‘Enhancing Trade and Market Access for Accelerated Agriculture Transformation’. ASBP’s overall goal is to increase food security in Africa through the establishment and operation of effective seed systems. ASBP has specific provisions to support intra-African seed trade and marketing: regional seed regulations harmonization, revisions in national seed policies and regulatory protocols, improvement in cooperation in variety development, variety registration and release, the formation of seed trade associations, the development of seed sector databases, the mainstreaming of the “informal” seed sector, the cooperation in Early Generation Seed production and distribution, to name a few.
The 15th CAADP PP Meeting has been an opportunity to showcase how the implementation of ASBP goes to support agricultural transformation and how ASBP specifically addresses the bottlenecks in seed and agricultural trade and marketing and all the elements that contribute to it.
“For African agriculture to take advantage of fast-growing intra-African market opportunities, efforts must be made to bridge the poor linkages of African farmers to agricultural input markets on one hand, and to the product markets on the other. AfricaSeeds will continue to contribute to resolve the high degree of fragmentation of the African agricultural market across national borders and among often overlapping sub-regional groups” added Dr. Miezan.
AfricaSeeds’ mandate, as part of the CAADP objectives, is to steer the efforts of seed sector stakeholders, through the implementation of the various components of the African Seed and Biotechnology Program, for a seed secure Africa.