“Seed really is crosscutting, essential and fundamental. It is a good place to invest in as we have done for a long time with regional and national governments. With this study today, there is progress and opportunity in the region and constant momentum. I encourage everyone to participate and observe. Today is meant to be a candid conversation,” said Kathryn Begeal, USAID Regional Feed the Future Coordinator for Office of Economic Growth and Integration (OEGI) in her opening remarks at the Regional Seed Assessment Findings Workshop. The workshop, facilitated by Africa Lead on 30 May 2018 at the Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya discussed findings from a study conducted by Agri Experience in February – May 2018, which covered six Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and ten border points. The event was attended by 46 participants representing USAID/Kenya and East Africa, seed companies, implementing partners, and research organizations.
The objective of the workshop was to share assessment findings with key stakeholders, to reflect on the study’s short-term and long-term recommendations to address seed trade barriers, and to gather feedback on the study from workshop participants. Agri Experience presented findings and recommendations from the study, which was followed by group discussions on key trade issues that emerged on the knowledge of standards and compliance across regional platform implementation, seed companies, seed trade agencies, and regulatory authorities.
USAID and Africa Lead will review comments and recommendations from the meeting to inform the final regional seed assessment findings report.