Wednesday, 19 November 2014

African Development Bank to contribute to food security in 11 countries

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Kenya have signed on November 14, 2014, in Nairobi, a grant agreement to support the growth and formalization of 54 African seed companies in eleven countries. The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) managed by the Bank has provided US $1 million to fund a technical assistance project in the form of Business Development Services for the 54 seed companies. This technical assistance project will help the seed companies increase their production of quality seeds for rural farmers ultimately contributing to ensuring food security and the reduction of poverty in rural areas. Gabriel Negatu, Regional Director, East Africa Regional Resource Centre, and Agn├Ęs Kalibata, President, AGRA, signed on behalf of the Bank and AGRA, respectively.

The 54 seed companies are located in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Niger, Liberia and Uganda. Through interactive on-site sessions with seed managers and staff, classroom instructions, field visits, secondment of specialists to seed companies and provision of literature and updates on the seed industry in Africa, the 54 seed companies will be capacitated to improve their management and technical capacity; increase their knowledge of new varieties developed by breeders and gain practical and technical skills enabling them to produce high quality staple crop seeds for African rural farmers. Commenting on the project, Joe DeVries, Director of AGRA’s Program for Africa’s Seed System (PASS), which will be responsible for implementing the project, said, “I am certain this investment will achieve a lot of impact for poor farmers in the form of much larger volumes and better quality seed becoming available in their villages.” Read More....

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