Brief news on farming and agribusiness in the country
Where there are relatively active breeding programmes for the other crops, according to the report, the youngest variety on offer is over three years old, raising the question whether the industry’s response to rapidly changing climatic conditions is sufficient.
The index, which is generated by the Amsterdam-based Access to Seeds Foundation, ranked East African Seed and Seed Co. first and second respectively, having both grown their activities in the region since the first index was published in 2016.
“The ranking is no surprise, given their deeper understanding of the region and the challenges smallholder farmers face. But Thailand’s East-West Seed in third place is outstanding too, because it suggests they are transferring their know-how and experience with smallholders in Asia to Africa,” said Sanne Helderman, the senior research lead at the Access to Seeds Index.
The industry’s reach, according to her is, however, still far too low, as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa reports that just 23 per cent of the smallholder farmers in its member countries have access to improved varieties of major field crops, resulting in low productivity and raising food security challenges.
The risk “is even greater” due to the fact that the infection can be transferred between equine animals and also through the pasture itself, given that the treatment of a sick animal can take several weeks, veterinary officials said.