By STEVE AGBOTA
A three-year partnership worth $47 million has been announced by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to accelerate smallholder farmers’ access to transformative agricultural technologies.
The scaling seeds and technologies partnership would work in four countries within the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security – Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania – where it would help governments strengthen their seed sectors and promote the commercialisation, distribution and adoption of improved seeds and other key technologies.
The partnership aims to increase production of high-quality seeds by 45 percent in three years and ensure that 40 percent more farmers gain access to innovative agricultural technologies.
When the new alliance was launched, President Barrack Obama and others pledged to leverage technology’s transformative potential by taking innovation to scale.
To accomplish this, they committed to a series of enabling actions to promote adoption of agricultural technologies, setting yield targets that support country-defined agricultural goals, identifying key innovations that could help farmers reach those targets, harnessing information and communication technologies to support agricultural growth and promoting policy reforms to improve the enabling environment for agricultural investment that would lift millions out of poverty.
The scaling seeds and technologies partnership would help deliver on these new alliance commitments. By strengthening seed and input sectors, the partnership’s efforts would leverage technology’s tremendous potential to spur agricultural growth in Africa, which in turn could catalyse broad-based economic growth, improve smallholder incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and stunting in children. These gains would also help partnering governments meet the country-determined agricultural priorities they set during the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP) process.