Plant Breeding Innovation (PBI)

Communication and Advocacy Committee (CAAC)

Objective

Objective

The purpose of this document is to define the mandate of the communication and advocacy committee. This document helps the team understand its scope and operational discipline.

Context

In its efforts to create the best possible environment for trade and innovation in quality seeds for the benefit of members and farmers in Africa, AFSTA seeks, among other things, to ensure that all farmers in Africa have access to quality seeds food security. Today, everything indicates that African agriculture is developing in the midst of a myriad of challenges. The food market in Africa continues to grow, according to estimates by the World Bank, which will put it at a value of US$1 trillion by 2030, up from US$300 billion today. Demand for food is also expected to at least double by 2050. These trends, combined with the continent’s food import bill estimated at US$30-50 billion, indicate that there is an opportunity in the agricultural sector. The latter cannot hold the ground without certified seeds.

Africa’s current contribution to the global seed trade is less than 2%. However, African farmers need quality seeds and seed companies are interested in expanding the trade. For this percentage to increase, there needs to be a sustained well-coordinated communication plan at AFSTA management level.

In the face of all these opportunities, AFSTA is determined to make a difference in the seed trade, especially for its members. We believe that promoting trade in high quality certified seed is both a moral duty and in the interest of AFSTA members. We understand that helping Africa achieve food security is a crucial step in helping the people of this continent lift themselves out of poverty.

As more and more African countries move closer to commercializing biotech crops, the seed sector has emphasized their readiness and willingness to deploy the innovative technologies to African farmers. AFSTA’s mandate is to create an enabling environment within the seed industry for the smooth production of certified seed in Africa.

AFSTA is represented in 26 African countries. AFSTA has also trained and sensitized nearly 60 seed companies in Africa on various aspects of seed production, including seed marketing, seed treatment, good agronomic practices and advocacy on seed issues. In addition, AFSTA communicates through African Seed magazine, E-Review and Flash News. The seed industry gathers every March at the AFSTA Annual Congress and the 2020 edition of the congress will take place in Livingstone, Zambia. As the seed sector in Africa revolves around National Seed Trade Associations (NSTAs), these can be a means of promoting all aspects of seed production and trade. Furthermore, to keep the beat alive, AFSTA needs to strategically partner with various stakeholders and keep track of what is happening in the seed production space in Africa. This calls for a substantive committee known as the AFSTA Communications and Advocacy Committee.