The poor performance of Africa’s seed industry is threatening food security on the continent, warns a new report.
“The overall picture is one of international and African seed companies falling short in delivering quality seed and new varieties to smallholder farmers. This limits the potential to address food security, nutrition and climate resilience,” revealed the study by Amsterdam-based Access to Seeds Foundation on the performance of 23 major seed companies in 22 West and Central African countries.
Though an increasing number of seed companies have launched on the continent over the last decade, they are not investing in breeding new varieties locally for the benefit of farmers, the report found. Many of the companies apparently have built a business model around importing and distributing seeds, instead of investing in local plant breeding programs to develop new seed varieties.