Over 100 delegates gathered today in Kigali, Rwanda in a meeting coordinated by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’s (AGRA) Program for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS) to deliberate on crop breeding in Africa.
Out of these are 53 African Seed breeders of African staple crop varieties.
The meeting is deliberating on how to enhance Africa’s seed breeding programs, how to encourage more public-private seed partnerships and identifying strategies to encourage the next generation of seed breeders.
The meeting follows the Africa Union’s (AU) Agribusiness Forum, which saw more than 100 African leaders gather in Rwanda last week, to discuss how to transform and strengthen Africa’s Agriculture.
Rwandan Minister of Agriculture, Dr Geraldine Mukeshimana, said the gathering is a landmark one in Africa’s efforts towards becoming food secure.
“I appreciate the different specializations here today who represent these unusual partnerships that we are creating and strengthening to turn science into action, in ways that matter to Africa’s farmers,” she said.
Speaking at the meeting, AGRA’s President, Dr Agnes Kalibata, asked the attendees to answer one question: “How do we feed Africa and feed the world, in a manner that is environmentally sustainable and inclusive for all players in the agricultural sector?
“The ingredients to doing so are all available within Africa’s borders; world-class technical manpower in agricultural and related fields, sizeable tracts of arable land, a readily available work force and an ever-growing consumer base,” Dr Kalibata said.
“We need to harness all these ingredients to achieve a total transformation of Africa’s agricultural sector, and for a business-like approach to agriculture – one grounded in science and evidence,” she added.
Through the PASS program AGRA invests in breeding, training, seed production and seed marketing in 17 countries throughout Sub-Saharan African, including Rwanda.
These efforts are all geared to ensuring farmers have access to the best seed they can to produce their crops, feed their families and contribute to making Africa food secure. Through PASS African has had over 400 new crop varieties released.