M a r k e t N e w s

Africa: Quality Seed Key to Boosting Farm Yields

Posted on : Monday, 12th September 2016

 Nairobi — Quality seed is the biggest game changer for agriculture in Africa helping countries to boost farm yields to secure food security and development, according to Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) top official.

Dr Joseph Devries, AGRAs chief of agricultural transformation told reporters during a media tour of Dryland Seed's field projects in Machakos County, south-east of Nairobi, that evidence shows that countries that have developed agriculture did so using proper seeds.
"The biggest game changer for African agriculture is simply the use of quality seeds. Areas of the world that have experienced green revolution did so because of using proper seeds," said Dr Devries during the tour which was part of the ongoing Africa Green Revolution Forum.
The Dryland Seed Company Managing Director Ngila Kimotho said the use of improved seed varieties was vital in improving food security in Africa.
He said recycling of seed was affecting crop production with yields continuing to dwindle over the years resulting in loss of potential revenue due to low yields. Mr Kimotho said there was also a danger of harbouring diseases as its genetical potential is being reduced
. According to him, recycling seed is equivalent to recycling crop diseases. He said good quality seed has high return per unit area as the genetic potentiality of the crop can be fully exploited.
"Seed is the most important input in farming. Of all the inputs, fertiliser, pesticides and others, seed stands out to be more essential. If you don't start by acquiring quality seed, you cannot determine what you're going to get at the end," he said.
"The most important thing about seed is that it is a living organism; not every grain is seed! Seed needs to be stored in a good condition, with good ventilation and low humidity.
You have to do fumigation every two to three months to make sure there is no infestation. So, seed has to be treated in a special way."
He also noted that Dryland Seed varieties could be exported to Tanzania and other countries whose ecology was similar to that of Kenya. "The reason you don't need to recycle seed is that when you recycle it, you usually recycle diseases.
So, farmers must plant certified seeds and our seed, as Dryland Seed, can even be exported because we have similar ecologies in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Zambia, Malawi and breeders know what is good for which area," he said.

Source : allafrica.com
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