Small-scale farmers in Africa experience limited access to affordable quality seed. Solving this issue will help improving food security and stimulating rural income. KIT has therefore made the strategic choice to work with partners such as CDI of Wageningen University on seed sector development.
Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters, Unit Manager KIT Sustainable Economic Development and Gender: “giving farmers access to better seeds delivers almost immediate tangible results. KIT has worked in this field for decades and generates a world of knowledge on how to develop seed systems in African contexts.”
KIT supports the performance of national and cross-national seed sectors in Africa. This includes enabling the development of community seed management and local seed businesses, advising on the required enabling policy environment, and improving interaction with formal seed systems. All of these measures have the aim of strengthening seed entrepreneurship.
Delivering pragmatic plans of action
Steenhuijsen Piters: “Recently we have been asked by a number of donors like the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the Dutch Embassy in Burundi to deliver pragmatic plans of action in different countries in Africa; we work with local stakeholders and make plans that aim to increase agricultural production, securing food for those direly need it. We bring in our international expertise and work with local farmers, seed banks, local entrepreneurs and international companies to create local solutions that work and have the potential to be implemented region wide. And that makes it really rewarding. When it works you see immediate results. And that is what drives us: increasing people’s access to healthy food and income from agriculture: inclusive sustainable development.”