The harvest is in the seed

Promoting the development of a strong seed sector on the continent requires a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors through relevant and productive public-private partnerships (PPP). Roles differ along the seed value chain (seed development, production and marketing), across crops, and across countries and require varying capacities to address.

Greater potential

The PPP has the potential of bringing together the advantages and contributions of the public and private sectors to effectively address problems which in the past have not been satisfactorily addressed by either sector, acting alone. The PPP concept has gained acceptance because it recognizes that in the various national investment actions, enhanced contributions can emanate from the public and/or from the private when the two act in partnership to ensure success and ultimate good of the public and the nation.

In that wise, it is clear that the seed sector presents an almost perfect scenario for PPP with opportunities for its application being evident in the entire seed value chain, from variety development, seed production and seed conditioning to quality assurance, seed marketing, seed security and seed utilization.

AfricaSeeds is convinced that the strategy of PPP holds immense prospect of aiding in the achievement of desired outputs in the interventions that are mounted in several components of the seed value chain. Therefore AfricaSeeds will bend all efforts to acquire the required specialized expertise and knowledge to be able to lead in the widespread adoption and application of the PPP concept among member countries.

Based upon the overall principles, national authorities will be expected to articulate their own national laws and protocols to guide their national PPP applications in the seed sector development. Audits of seed sector development initiatives at different levels (national, regional and continental) will expose gaps and identify the areas which can benefit from PPP applications on a higher level than currently pertains.

Implementation at national level

AfricaSeeds will initiate consultations by which the role and dimensions of public-private partnerships will be well defined. At the same time, through expert consultations, the principles and guidelines by which PPP will be applied in the seed sector of Africa will be more precisely defined. Particularly, it should be clear that in the proposed contacts between the public and private sectors, issues relating to transparency, fairness, accountability and due diligence will need to be adequately addressed and sound and internationally acceptable principles applied to ensure the most effective use of resources, from both the public and private sectors.

Likewise, specific strategies and processes to enhance PPP applications in key components of the seed value chain and their related issues of gender, youth, smallholder seed production and the environment will need to be defined and addressed in national seed policies in which women have been given equal chance to articulate their own views towards the formulation of the national consensus.

AfricaSeeds will progressively build up expertise in seed sector PPP application to be able to provide Governments and institutions the support needed in the several types of PPP that are foreseen.

©CIMMYT

Promoting the development of a strong seed sector on the continent requires a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors

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