AGRA Project helps rural farmers in Africa to improve their production of quality seeds
With 25% of the world’s arable land, Africa’s agricultural sector is poised for growth if adequate measures are swiftly taken by its leaders. A recent report by FAO (2016) on food insecurity reveals that “153 million individuals, about 26 percent of the population above 15 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa, suffered from severe food insecurity in 2014/15”. This is a challenge that ought to be addressed by RMCs, development finance institutions and stakeholders.
At the AfDB, the importance of food security and the agriculture sector as a whole has been elevated through the hi-5 priority areas, making this sector a critical contributor to Africa’s socio-economic transformation. Africa is the first region to implement the Global strategy for Improving food security, agricultural and Rural statistics which consists of three components; namely– technical assistance (ta), training, and research, however must efforts need to be encouraged towards agricultural projects that are transformational and scalable.
The AfDB through FAPA continues to support many projects in Africa that will help unleash the Agricultural sector. A case in point is the AGRA project that is being implemented in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda
Through this project, FAPA is providing a grant of USD 1 000 000 (One million USD) for business development services directed at 54 or more seed companies supported by the program for Africa’s seed systems (PASS), a program for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Results achieved to date:
- 52,439.58 MT of certified seeds have been produced against a target of 50,000 MT
- 209 jobs have been created against a target of 110. In addition, 3 051 new casual employment were created
- 2,044 new contracts with agro dealers have been established against a target of 100
- 67 requests to research institutions to start own production have been made
- 21 linkages have been made between seed companies and plant breeders