A call to give seeds more impact

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Globally, provision and adoption of improved seed and planting material have raised many crops' productivity. This has improved the lives of millions of farmers. Africa, however, has not yet benefited enough.

Crop yields there are the lowest in the world. A major reason is limited access to quality inputs, especially improved seed varieties suitable for the different climatic conditions and soils. Consequently, Africa now imports up to US $35 billion worth of food annually. This amount is predicted to increase to US $110 billion by 2025.

We are among the organizations working to improve this situation - notably through our Seeds2B program. One example is the Seeds for Impact competition. This new initiative by AECF is initially funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and our Foundation.

The competition addresses the funding gap companies face when wanting to produce seed for food security crops, particularly publicly-bred varieties. Seeds for Impact is part of a six-year program to make seed market systems work better for smallholderss across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The program targets private sector companies in Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique.

The offer: 

  • Funding: Grants and Concessional Loans ranging between US $250,000 to 1.5 million
  • Technical Assistance

What is the competition they looking for?

  • Solutions that improve how the seed market systems work for smallholder farmers

  • Innovative ideas that stimulate and/or enrich/contribute to next-generation approaches in growing Africa’s seed sector, crowding in women and youth (efficiency, productivity, market growth in Africa)

  • Models that seek to scale new, in-demand publicly-bred varieties of food crops (climate-smart and nutrition focus will be considered an advantage. Crops must go beyond hybrid maize).

  • Ability to leverage partnerships that increase the availability of other key inputs necessary for maximizing the benefits of improved seed varieties including farmers’ access to appropriate finance, extension services, technologies, and output markets. 

Applications ran from 30th October to 11th December 2018. We'll be announcing the results in due course

For more information meanwhile, please write to seedsforimpact@aecfafrica.org, copying John Kavilu (jkavilu@aecfafrica.org).