Lusaka, Monday, February 25, 2019: COMESA targets to increase its share of the total global seed trade value from 2% to 5% in the next three years. This will be done through the implementation of the COMESA Seed Harmonisation Implementation Plan (COMSHIP).
To this end, the COMESA Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) is collaborating with the AfricaSeeds – the implementing Agency on seed programmes of the Africa Union – in coming up with an integrated seed sector within the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP) agenda aligned with the National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans (NAFSIPs).
This collaboration has led to the establishment of a comprehensive seed information system for Africa, known as Seed Knowledge Gateway (SKG). This will complement COMSHIP, whose objective is to increase production and quality, reliability, trade and competitiveness of the seed industry.
SKG is a web-based computerized database set up by Africaseeds. It will be used for seed data, statistics and information necessary for the seed sector planning and operations. It will be available for all seed development partners in the African continent.
In a mission report prepared by Dr John Mukuka, a Seed Development Expert at ACTESA, the increase in the regional seed trade value will be accelerated through the implementation of the COMSHIP complemented by the new SKG platform.
Dr Mukuka represented COMESA at the African Union’s Seed Knowledge Gateway (SKG) meeting that took place, in Akosombo, Ghana, 11 – 14 February 2019. The objective of the meeting was to review and validate the development, implementation strategy and work plan of the preparatory phase of the SKG.
In attendance were delegates from AfricaSeeds partner countries and institutions, namely Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Kenya. Others were from the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa Agricultural Transformation Scorecards Compacts.
The meeting affirmed its strong collaboration with FARA on enhancing AfricaSeeds’ role as technical partner of the SKG.
“The proposed partnership with FARA will be crucial for the proper development and use of SKG and AfricaSeeds and FARA needs to expedite the processes to achieve the desired linkage,” Dr Mukuka said.
The meeting finalized and validated an outline that guided the preparation of the Seed Knowledge Gateway project document and the key deliverable of the preparatory phase.