Why quality seeds are among the most valuable currency in climate finance for Africa

Updated May 17, 2023
Michael Keller is Secretary General of International Seed Federation
VAUD, Switzerland, May 16 2023 (IPS) - At long last, momentum is growing for an overdue rethink of climate finance and development assistance to support countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis. But while investment, aid and compensation are all much needed, another form of currency is equally valuable for climate-vulnerable countries that are also highly dependent on small-scale agriculture: quality seeds. The latest generation of seeds offers varieties adapted to specific climatic circumstances to provide more reliable food production, as well as improved incomes and livelihoods for farmers, having boosted productivity by 20 per cent for nine key crops in the European Union over 15 years. Yet improved varieties of many of the world’s staple cereals, vegetables and pulses are too often inaccessible for farmers in Africa, despite having some of the greatest exposure to climate extremes. For instance, in East Africa, certified quality seed potatoes – which produce higher ...
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