Major actors of the seed industry in West and Central Africa are expected to gather in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, from April 9-12, 2019, to identify ways of working better together to deliver critical agriculture inputs to farmers.

Organized by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CO-RAF), the meeting will bring together vital actors of a new coalition dedicated to the common goal of speedily delivering quality seeds at scale to farmers. This new initiative is known as the Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development (PAIRED).

This new five-year program is funded by the West Africa Regional Mission of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and supported by the Economic Community of West African States, the West Africa Economic and Monetary Community, and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel.

Other actors include scientific partners such as IITA, AfricaRice, ICRISAT, IFDC, FARA, national agricultural research institutions, the private sector such as AFSTA, ROPPA, HubRural and multinational companies, as well as financial and technical partners such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank and USAID.

After years of progress in the delivery of science results to farmers, CORAF and its partners are determined to tackle the challenge of access to quality agriculture inputs to farmers through a new approach. This new way prioritizes collaboration and partnerships among all the actors involved in the field.

“Our national and international scientists have produced a range of cutting-edge research results including high yielding varieties of major staples that are not only tolerant of prevailing diseases and pests but also adaptable to the increasing challenges of the climate. These innovations are available. Sadly, they have not been widely and readily accessible to the end-users who are the farmers and producers,” says Abdulai Jalloh, director of Research and Innovation at CORAF. ‘‘What we hope to achieve under PAIRED is to foster synergies and complementary approaches to deliver vital science outputs to farmers.’’

CORAF acknowledges the vital role of the private sector in the transformation of the seed industry. Actors of the Alliance for Seed Industry in West Africa (ASIWA) shall also meet to examine further the best ways of increasing the role of the private sector in the production and distribution of seeds in West Africa.

Source: CORAF