AGRA to hold “Action Now! On Africa Seed Systems” at the 2022 AGRF


AGRA, the African alliance for sustainably growing Africa’s food systems, will be holding a side event for the Center of Excellence for Seed Systems in Africa (CESSA) at the 2022 AGRF in Kigali Rwanda on Monday 5th September.

The Center of Excellence for Seed Systems in Africa (CESSA) is focused on forming partnerships to address various challenges in African seed systems. A one-stop center to accelerate the building of functional seed systems, CESSA was launched by AGRA in 2021 to address glaring challenges, and help improve upon with lower-than-average yield gains in SSA compared to the rest of the world.

The CESSA side event at AGRF2022 in Kigali Rwanda aims to anchor the initiative in Africa by introducing it to key African and international stakeholders working towards improving Africa’s food systems. CESSA will present the results of high-level studies of key seed system areas in the continent, with the intention of fostering collaboration between various actors in the seed systems value chain to find and work on solutions.

The event will be led by AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, and Interim Deputy Director, BMGF, Lauren Good. The AGRA Deputy Vice President- Program Innovation and Development Dr. George Bigirwa will present on CESSA which will include its functions, offerings, and benefits to the African seed systems.

Jane Ininda, Head of Seed Research & Systems Development at AGRA, said: “It is critical that efforts to put quality seed in the hands of smallholder farmers, who represent 70% of Africa’s agricultural production, are accelerated. Seed significantly influences the quality and quantity of farmers’ output, so ensuring appropriate access to and transparency of seed systems is one important way in which we can accelerate a needed transformation of Africa’s agriculture sector, in light of the immediate food crisis.”

Other key speakers will include Mark Nelson of Context Global Development who will give a presentation on “An Assessment of Africa Seed Company Performance”. Dr. Ian Barker, Lead One CGIAR SeedEQUAL program will shed light on the “One CGIAR work in Africa, collaboration with AGRA and how SeedEQUAL fits in CESSA”. Prof. Edward Mabaya, Senior/International Research Professor Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will speak on “TASAI – Formalizing seed systems for evidence-based decision making and predictable production”.

Feedback from the various stakeholders and collaborators will be collected through an interactive Q&A panel discussions consisting of key panelists representing Seed Systems Group (SSG), One CGIAR, TASAI, Syngenta Foundation, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), and seed company representation.

All are welcome to attend this important AGRF side event for CESSA, taking place on Monday September 5, 2022, from 0900-1100hrs CAT, at the Kigali Convention Center.

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