Q&A: The private sector's role in getting improved seeds to farmers

Seeds for planting in a community garden in Zambia. Photo by: Anna Fawcus / WorldFish / CC BY-NC-ND

ACCRA, Ghana — Across the African continent, national agricultural research systems are developing seed varieties more durable to withstand drought, disease, and pests, as well as producing higher yields. But after the seeds are developed, a challenge remains — getting them to farmers’ fields.

A report published last month by the Seed Systems Group found that if one-third of the farmers in the 15 African countries it analyzed obtained improved seeds, they could generate an additional 25 million metric tons of food, worth $4 billion over 5-7 years.

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About the author

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    Sara Jerving

    Sara Jerving is Devex's East Africa Correspondent based in Nairobi. She is a reporter and producer, whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Vice News, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Nation magazine, among others. Sara holds a master's degree in business and economic reporting from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she was a Lorana Sullivan fellow.