85-1 Barriers Inhibiting Smallholder Access to Improved Seed African Seed Industry Perspectives.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Global Agronomy
See more from this Session: Symposium--Industry Perspectives On Gaining Access to Agronomic Inputs
Monday, October 22, 2012: 10:00 AM
Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 262, Level 2
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Lloyd D. Le Page, Senior Advisor, African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA), Heartland Global, Johnston, IA
To meet food requirements of a growing, increasingly wealthy and urban global population, farmers must double production by 2050 without jeopardizing environmental or socio-cultural sustainability. To prevent expansion into forest and more marginal grassland areas, rich in biodiversity, arable land already in use must reach its optimal yields per unit of land, water, energy and human capital. Productivity must be increased in the face of growing uncertainties on the impact of climate change on rainfall patterns and temperature, and their associated impact on disease, weed and insect pressure.

Much of the arable land in Africa remains well below its optimal production potential, notwithstanding recent positive progress and signs of an emerging African farm revolution.  To address this challenge, African Governments, supported by development partners, have taken bold steps through the CAADP process to improve productivity by 6% annual growth. Achieving these national productivity targets requires starting with improvements in one fundamental input for all crops - seed. Farmer access to a reliable and affordable choice of high quality seed is a pre-requisite for African farm productivity growth. Over the last 30 years many ad-hoc attempts have been made to improve smallholder access to improved seed. However, African smallholder farmers, particularly in more remote areas and smaller countries, still face an inconsistent availability, choice and affordability of seed that, amongst other things, prevents them from optimizing production in their local conditions.

The presentation describes key barriers and challenges to smallholder access to seed from the perspective of the nascent African seed industry which recognizes the challenges, responsibility and business opportunities of agricultural growth in Africa at farmer, national, regional and continental level. It will also discuss challenges to the rise of the African seed industry, currently estimated at well over US$1.1 billion in sales, and share signs of positive and lasting change in improved seed availability for small holder farmers in Africa.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Global Agronomy
See more from this Session: Symposium--Industry Perspectives On Gaining Access to Agronomic Inputs