Agricultural transformation cannot take root in Africa without an enabling business environment

Conducive environment is essential for sustainable production and commercialisation of seed

Creating an enabling environment for agriculture is a prerequisite to unleash the sector’s potential to boost growth, provide food and nutrition security and reduce poverty, said Dr. Francis Nang’ayo, the head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at AATF during the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) congress held in Mombasa, Kenya.

Dr. Nang’ayo said that an effective enabling business environment comprises of policies, legislations, institutional arrangements, and support services including markets that collectively align to create an ecosystem where enterprises and business activities can start, develop, and thrive.

“Seed production is primarily dependent on a robust product development pipeline that is in turn dependent on a conducive environment which is essential for sustainable research and commercialisation of seed,” said Dr Nang’ayo, adding that AATF and partners have supported policy and regulatory reforms as well as best practices to create an environment for sustainable adoption of seed -based technologies in Africa.

Dr. Nang’ayo stated that through interventions by AATF towards development of an enabling business environment for the seed sector, key policy gaps were identified and acted upon including adoption of seed policy in Uganda; passage of Plant Variety Protection Law in Malawi, passage of Seed Law in Liberia, development of national seed catalogue in DRC, development of protocols for accreditation of agro-input suppliers and convening of policy dialogue events on regional harmonization of  seed regulations in COMESA and ECOWAS regions.

Speaking at the Seed Association’s forum on the margins of the AFSTA 2021 Congress that brought together different stakeholders in the seed sector across the globe, Dr. Nang’ayo noted that stewardship of innovative technologies is a critical component of the business enabling environment especially with regards to quality control and quality assurance to ensure sustainability in seed production.

“Stewardship entails the entire product life cycle to ensure responsible and ethical management of a product from its inception through to its ultimate use and discontinuation,” he explained.

He called on African governments to exercise a statutory duty of care by putting in place policies and regulations that are critical in influencing agricultural transformation through technology development and adoption.

“AATF is committed to strengthening state and government capability in improving regulatory and institutional systems that are desirable for adoption of modern agricultural technologies essential for improved food and nutrition security,” he said.

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