PRESS RELEASE: Seed technologies key in addressing various constraints of agriculture in Africa.

[Mombasa, Kenya, March 2024]: Seed technologies and tools have significantly contributed to the development of seed systems, and production of crops worldwide. The availability of quality seeds is critical to enhance crop productivity for a food and nutrition secure continent, a meeting heard.

Speaking during the AFSTA Congress in Mombasa, Kenya, Dr. Munyaradzi Jonga, the Seed Production Specialist and TAAT Maize Compact Lead at AATF noted that there is huge potential to maximize Africa’s agricultural productivity by leveraging on already available high-quality seeds of newly improved climate-smart varieties produced from different breeding programmes within the region.

He called for the need to stimulate demand that drives functional markets to enhance uptake of improved varieties.

“We need to implement policies that will encourage new innovations and enhance seed systems,” he said.

Dr. Jonga pointed out various constraints to seed system development and food production in Africa. The constraints include inefficient enabling policy environments; long plant breeding cycles and variety release processes; pest and diseases that affect productivity, and poor seed quality.

He noted that partnerships in commercialization are crucial in technology development; new products awareness and demand creation and uptake by farmers. “Effective collaboration and partnerships are critical for consistent high quality seed delivery to farmers,” he stated.

Furthermore, he noted that policy and regulatory enabling environment is key in seed systems development and commercialization.

Experts in an ensuing panel discussion agreed that international and national research organisations develop technologies and innovations, including climate-resilient crop varieties. However, the outputs of research in Africa are not easily commercialised. Cognizant of this, seed systems are putting in place mechanisms to enable private companies to access and commercialise climate-resilient varieties.

“AATF is spearheading commercialisation of technologies and innovations emanating from research through partnerships with different organisations including national research systems to deliver seeds of improved varieties to smallholder farmers,” Dr. Jonga said.

Through AATF partnerships in technology commercialization, he stated that the organization has released over 124 DroughtTEGO hybrids and produced 36,328 tons of climate-smart maize seeds that have been commercialized to mitigate impact of frequent droughts in Sub-Saharan Africa due to climate change. The hybrid seeds, he said, is enough to plant 1.5 million hectares.

AATF works across many areas to ensure innovations can ultimately reach farmers. These areas include regulatory approval, licensing agreements and product commercialisation, the organization has a proven track record of connecting African farmers with advanced technologies that address their specific challenges and opportunities.

About AATF (

Founded in 2003 to address Africa’s food security prospects through agricultural technology, AATF) believes that the agricultural sector is a key foundational pillar as Africa consolidates its economic growth and carves out its new position as a major global economic powerhouse and the next growth market in the world. It was formed in response to the need for an effective mechanism that would facilitate and support negotiation for technology access and delivery and the formation of appropriate partnerships to manage the development & deployment of innovative technologies for use by smallholder farmers in SSA:

For further information, please contact:

Mr. George Achia, Communications Officer, East and Southern Africa, AATF; ; +254 785 334163