The African Union Commission (AUC) has nominated the AATF to the Working Group on Seed Quality Assurance and Certification Systems of the African Seed and Biotechnology (ASB) Platform. At the same time, the Commission nominated Quali Basic Seed (QBS) Company, a-for-profit company established by AATF that produces and supplies quality Foundation Seed to the Platform.
The Platform is a strategic tool to coordinate the African Seed and Biotechnology Programme (ASBP) geared towards establishment of effective and efficient seed systems and enhanced application of biotechnologies and methodologies within the seed sector.
While announcing the nomination, Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa, the Director, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the AUC and the chair of the Steering Group of the ASB Platform said the Working Group on Seed Quality Assurance and Certification Systems will develop continental standards and protocols for seed testing and quality control by customizing international standards to local conditions.
“As a contribution towards Agenda 2063, it is the expectation of the Steering Group of the ASB Platform that the Working Group will develop technical guidelines for Seed Quality Assurance and Certification Systems that promote sustainable quality seed availability and access at realistic prices,” he stated.
Dr. Bahiigwa added that the Working Group will develop, implement, and harmonize strategies and protocols for quality assurance of key African breeds and varieties.
Dr. Munyaradzi Jonga, the Seed Production Manager at AATF noted that the organisation is looking forward to active participation in the working groups to steer the development of seed sector in Africa.
“AATF will avail its expertise, experience and learnings towards the establishment of functionally efficient seed systems and facilitation of improved access and application of biotechnologies that supports resilient food systems and agriculture in Africa,” said Dr. Jonga, adding that AATF will continue to support high level engagement on the seed sector development in the continent.
He pointed out that AATF works across many areas to ensure innovations can ultimately reach farmers. “From regulatory approval, licensing agreements and product commercialisation, we have a proven track record of connecting African farmers with advanced technology that addresses their specific challenges and opportunities,” he added.
In 2007, the ASBP was endorsed by the AU Assembly as a strategic framework for the development of the seed sector in Africa. The Platform fosters debate and interaction among stakeholders at national, regional and continental levels to identify trends, challenges and emerging issues as well as provide support for policy formulation, strategy analysis, implementation and monitoring.
ASB Platform brings together a wide range of actors, critical in improving the design, resourcing and implementation of policies, research and initiatives on seed development in Africa. The Platform recognizes the need for a comprehensive approach which brings on board the traditionally neglected sub-sector: animal seed. This unique role and the value that it adds are articulated in ASB Platform’s Value Proposition which is “to provide a platform for facilitating discussion, advocacy for resource mobilization, advancing policy advice and accessing global knowledge for stakeholders in African seed systems to support national and regional actions, and programs in advancing Agricultural transformation in Africa.