The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) have signed a collaboration agreement that will facilitate joint work towards building a market system for the commercialisation of research products on the continent.
The agreement will also facilitate the improvement of farm productivity through mechanisation to address drudgery and contribute to building an enabling environment for agricultural research and development on the continent.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be guided by the core principles and values of the African Union especially the realisation of Agenda 2063.
Specific key areas of the agreement include addressing challenges in production of quality foundation seed, a key area of attention for AATF that is already working with the continent’s small and medium seed enterprises to ease production of quality certified seed.
The two organisations will also focus on strengthening seed certification and variety release policies and processes including development of the private sector, licensing of new agricultural technologies and technology stewardship for sustainable use of agricultural innovations and products.
The MoU, signed by Dr Denis T. Kyetere, Executive Director of the AATF and Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD, will ensure that both organisations identify flagship projects from the key areas of cooperation to effectively achieve the intended goals.
Dr Mayaki welcomed the collaboration, saying it would contribute to accelerating Africa’s agricultural transformation.
“As articulated in Agenda 2063, Africa’s sustained growth, competitiveness and economic transformation require sustained investment in new technologies and continuous innovation in areas such as agriculture, clean energy, education and health. This agreement will help contribute to this goal,” said Dr Mayaki.
Dr Kyetere said the collaboration provides an opportunity for smallholder farmers to benefit from innovative and value adding agricultural technologies.
“With the smallholder farmer at the centre of decision making, AATF emphasises the need to get innovations to farmers rapidly and effectively to optimise benefits,” said Dr Kyetere, adding that the agreement would also facilitate replication of mechanisation business models in more African countries as part of transformative agriculture development.