Smallholder farmers should be supported in groups and not individual to access credit


Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Abbie Trayler-Smith / Panos

Seed entrepreneurship critical to agricultural growth


by Gilbert Nakweya

One of the most interesting session at high level conferences for me is the debate on a critical matter of development.

As a Journalist, I value discourses where experts critically analyse matters development. It interests me more when the debates are centered on smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa because they contribute to agricultural productivity.

Such a moment came during the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Africa Synthesis Conference last week (19-20 September) in Nairobi. ISSD Africa is coordinated by the Centre of Development Innovation (CDI), the Royal Tropical Institute Kit, and the Future Agricultures Consortium and is hosted in Nairobi by Egerton University’s Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development.

Its pilot action research took place in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The big question was: Are grants to seed business essential for seed growth in Africa? Experts from academia, government and the private sectors were sharply divided on whether grants were essential for the seed sector development. Those for grants argued that it provides start-up capital for seed businesses and could spur business.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.