AU tasks agricultural body to lead continent's seed, biotechnology platform

By Bai LinUnreguser
  • World
  • Saturday, 10 Oct 2020

NAIROBI, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- The African Union Commission (AUC) on Friday appointed African Agricultural Technology Foundation(AATF) to lead the continent's seed, biotechnology platform dubbed African Seed and Biotechnology Platform of the African Union (ASBP).

Godfrey Bahiigwa, director of department of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the AUC, hailed AATF for facilitating and promoting public private partnerships to access, develop, adapt and deliver appropriate agricultural technologies in Africa.

"The organization will act as a policy think tank to advance the framework for the seed sector by improving the design, resourcing and implementation of policies, research and initiatives in seed development in Africa," Bahiigwa said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said that AATF will help in translating outcomes of debates and published research and dialogue from high-level meetings into policy options for consideration by AUC policy processes.

Bahiigwa said that AATF will lead the commission's working group on research, variety development and seed production.

"The platform is a strategic tool to coordinate ASBP and geared towards establishment of effective and efficient seed systems and enhanced application of biotechnologies and methodologies within the seed sector," said Bahiigwa.

Denis Kyetere, executive director of AATF, said the organization is looking forward to active participation in the platform to steer the development of the seed sector in Africa.

"AATF expresses its willingness to lead this working group and to support high-level engagement on the seed sector development in the continent," Kyetere said.

He said that AATF has a proven track record of connecting African farmers with advanced technology that addresses their specific challenges and opportunities.

According to Kyetere, the platform is expected to foster debate and interaction among stakeholders at national, regional and continental levels to identify trends, challenges and emerging issues as well as provide support for policy formulation, strategy analysis, implementation and monitoring.

The governance of the ASBP platform will have three key elements including a steering group, five working groups and the general assembly.

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