All roads led to Lake Victoria Serena Resort in Kampala, Uganda yesterday as over 80 delegates from major seed companies in Africa convened for talks on the role of improved seed use by smallholder farmers in attaining food security.
The week-long meeting, dubbed the ’10 K Seed Company Convening’, is a bi-annual event organised by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) through its Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems (Pass).
It has attracted various African heads of State, ministers, farmers, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and scientists.
The Kampala meet follows the inaugural of such meetings which Malawi hosted in Lilongwe in 2012.
In an interview with The Nation, Agra director of communications Sylvia Mwichuli said Africa still faces great challenge in growing certified seeds.
“The demand for improved seed in Africa annually remains unmet owing not only to few seed companies in existence, but also due to the fact that most companies produce under 1 000 metric tons.
“This is despite having key inputs such as technical know-how, genetics, land, modern seed processing facilities, government support, and, to some extent, capital,” Mwichuli said.
She, therefore, said the Kampala meeting will encourage aspiring seed companies to take up the challenge in filling the gap towards making Africa food and nutrition secure.
–Fatsani is reporting from Kampala, Uganda