DAKAR, Sénégal, July, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – USAID and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) (http://www.agra.org) announced the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership, a $47 million, three-year partnership intended to accelerate smallholder farmer access to transformative agricultural technologies. The Partnership will work in four countries within the G8′s New Alliance for Food Security — Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Tanzania — where it will help governments strengthen their seed sectors and promote the commercialization, distribution and adoption of improved seeds and other key technologies. The Partnership aims to increase production of high-quality seeds by 45 percent in three years and ensure that 40 percent more farmers gain access to innovative agricultural technologies.
When the New Alliance was launched, President Obama and others pledged to leverage technology’s transformative potential by taking innovation to scale. To accomplish this, they committed to a series of enabling actions to promote adoption of agricultural technologies: setting yield targets that support country-defined agricultural goals, identifying key innovations that can help farmers reach those targets, harnessing information and communication technologies to support agricultural growth, and promoting policy reforms to improve the enabling environment for agricultural investment that will lift millions out of poverty.
The Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership will help deliver on these New Alliance commitments. By strengthening seed and input sectors, the Partnership’s efforts will leverage technology’s tremendous potential to spur agricultural growth in Africa, which in turn can catalyze broad-based economic growth, improve smallholder incomes, and reduce hunger, poverty and stunting in children. These gains will also help partner governments meet the country-determined agricultural priorities they set during the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP) process.
“The Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership will help strengthen seed sectors, including regulatory systems, and create new local seed companies, ensuring that game-changing technologies can reach and improve the lives of millions of smallholders,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. “The United States will continue to support this and other New Alliance efforts through Feed the Future, President Obama’s global hunger and food security initiative.”
“We have seen great progress in the development of seeds and other agricultural technologies in recent years. Crucially, these are seeds that are suited to Africa’s soil, weather and needs — they hold tremendous promise for Africa’s smallholder farmers. AGRA has been working with our partners across the continent: We have supplied 57,000 metric tons of seeds and released over 300 improved seed varieties. This partnership with USAID will enable us to scale up this work and ensure that even more smallholder farmers can benefit from these extraordinary technologies,” said Jane Karuku, President of AGRA.
By helping African farmers access improved seeds, inputs, and complementary technologies, the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership helps boost agricultural productivity, food security, and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. To kick off its new coordination role, the Seeds and Technologies Partnership held an inaugural workshop this week in Nairobi, Kenya, where USAID and AGRA representatives consulted with key government, research, donor and private-sector partners on strategies for coordination and collaboration. These discussions mark the first in a series of in-depth, national-level dialogues on scaling up farmers’ access to agricultural innovations in New Alliance countries.
About USAID: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. As stated in the President’s National Security Strategy, USAID’s work in development joins diplomacy and defense as one of three key pieces of the nation’s foreign policy apparatus. USAID promotes peace and stability by fostering economic growth, protecting human health, providing emergency humanitarian assistance, and enhancing democracy in developing countries. These efforts to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide represent U.S. values and advance U.S. interests for peace and prosperity. www.usaid.gov.
About the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA): AGRA (http://www.agra.org) is a dynamic partnership working across the African continent to help millions of small-scale farmers and their families lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. AGRA programs develop practical solutions to significantly boost farm productivity and incomes for the poor while safeguarding the environment. AGRA advocates for policies that support its work across all key aspects of the African agricultural value chain from seeds, soil health and water to markets and agricultural education. With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, the UK’s Department for International Development and other donors, AGRA works across sub-Saharan Africa and maintains offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Accra, Ghana. http://www.agra.org.
About Feed the Future: Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and under nutrition. More information: www.feedthefuture.gov
About the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition: Announced by President Obama at the 2012 G8 Camp David Summit, the New Alliance now includes 9 member countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Senegal is slated to join the New Alliance in the fall of 2013. In these countries, the New Alliance matches market-oriented regulatory reforms with more than $3.75 billion in commitments from the private sector in agriculture.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 50 years.
For more information about USAID and its programs, please visit http://www.usaid.gov
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)