December 2, 2018

TAAT supports Seed Sector Reforms in DR Congo and Sierra Leone

Although seed is one of the most critical input in the production process, the seed systems in most African Countries are inefficient and therefore cannot deliver this critical input to farmers.

Consequently, the deployment of seed-based technologies in most of these countries is inefficient and therefore the intended impact of these technologies is slow to achieve.

DR Congo and Sierra Leone are some of the countries where seed systems needed substantial reforms.

To solve the challenge, the Policy Compact of Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiated the process towards seed sector reforms to facilitate the creation of robust seed systems in Regional Member Countries (RMCs) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) as a step towards sustainable supply of quality seed.

Led by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) , the Policy Compact is a part of the TAAT programme which is funded by the Bank (AfDB) to increase productivity in Africa through the deployment of technologies with proven and high performance

Under the auspices of the TAAT Policy Enabler Compact in DR Congo, The African Seed Access Index (TASAI) team provided technical support to local seed sector players who are implementing recommendations for addressing gaps in the seed industry that have been identified before the TAAT initiative.

One of the priority areas for the TAAT policy compact is the collaboration with multiple partners to develop a seed catalogue for DR Congo.

The partners include Congolese National Seed Service (SENASEM), National Agricultural Research Institute (INERA), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT /Harvest Plus) and the University of Lubumbashi.

The partners involved developed an updated seed catalogue and drafted a decree (L’Arrete) to legalize the updated catalogue, which will be submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture for signing.

In Sierra Leone, TAAT Policy compact began a comprehensive review of Sierra Leone’s seed industry.

The process started with convening of a high-level stakeholder’s forum that brought together key players in the seed industry in Sierra Leone.

The TAAT Policy team met with the Director of Sierra Leone Seed Certification Agency (SLeSCA), the Director General and Deputy Director General of the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the Director General of Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture.

From the initial stakeholder forums, the key challenges in the Sierra Leone seed sector which is at its infant stages were established. Identifying the challenges at the initial stage was critical as the TAAT policy team embarks on the process of eliminating the policy related bottlenecks in the Sierra Leone’s Seed sector.