Pan-African Rice Seed Capital
The rice sector in sub-Saharan Africa is plagued by the low availability of quality seeds of improved rice varieties as well as by the absence of appropriate policies to encourage the development of the seed sector.
AfricaRice member countries as well as private seed enterprises that are interested in boosting the domestic production of rice have expressed the need for a sustainable access to sufficient amounts of breeder and foundation seeds of the most popular improved rice varieties developed by AfricaRice and its national partners. These improved varieties include ARICAs, NERICAs and recently developed hybrids.
A sustainable breeder and foundation seed capital is essentially required to respond to the continuous and increasing needs for certified seeds of governments, private enterprises, and farmers’ cooperatives. It will also serve as a seed stock in case of disasters such as droughts, flooding, and civil wars. The existence of a Pan-African Rice Seed Capital will contribute to the establishment of effective, efficient, and highly performing domestic rice value chains.
A Pan-African Rice Seed Capital has thus been established at the AfricaRice Research Station in M’bé, Côte d’Ivoire, by AfricaRice and its partners. It is based on a public–private partnership business model that the Center has developed to enhance the rice-seed value chain. The model creates synergy between agribusiness and smallholders to meet the seed needs for food security and generate value addition and jobs for youth and women.
The Pan-African Rice Seed Capital will strengthen collaboration between all actors of the rice value chain: AfricaRice, NARIs, private seed enterprises and seed cooperatives, paddy producers, processors, transporters and traders of milled rice.
It will help to establish functional rice seed systems in each of the member countries to address the issue of rice self-sufficiency by providing enough quality seeds. This will facilitate farmers’ access to quality seeds in order to increase productivity and the quality of locally-produced rice and will contribute to generating increased revenue from the use of improved varieties.