Four new varieties of soybean and six of groundnuts were released in Malawi awaiting certified seed production by the private sector. The Government of Malawi through the Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS) joined hands with private companies to conduct demonstration trials and field days to promote the new varieties among farmers and seed companies.
The project works to transfer seed-based technology by licensing appropriate improved crop cultivars to seed companies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It initially executed by AATF in Malawi and Zimbabwe. This has since expanded to include additional components such as the Partnerships for Seed Technology Transfer in Africa (PASTTA) in Uganda and Ghana Agricultural Technology Evaluation (GATE) Project in Ghana.
The project held a two-day training for government seed licensing, Plant variety protection enforcing agencies, and the Intellectual Property Management Committee (IPMC) on licensing and economic valuation of intellectual property assets to equip them with skills for negotiating IP license agreements for commercialisation of publicly bred technologies. The project-initiated talks with Makerere university breeders and officials responsible for variety commercialisation to develop a policy framework and benchmarking on NARO’s policy.
In Ghana, the Project held a field day for onion value chain actors including farmers, seed companies and distributors, (Agriseed – Technisem, Callighana. Advanta Seeds, Dizengoff Ghana Limited, Miqdadi Ghana Limited and Syngenta Vegetable Seeds Business Unit) to compare the performance of ten varieties from different seed companies. The event promoted better understanding by farmers on selection of their preferred/best performing varieties.