TASAI Launches 12 Country Studies in 2020/21

In 2020, TASAI Inc. rolled out comprehensive seed industry studies in six countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda. An additional update study in Mali brought the 2020 total to seven studies. The comprehensive studies, following TASAI methodology, tracked 22 seed industry indicators across five categories: Research and Development, Industry Competitiveness, Policy and Regulation, Industry Support, and Support to Smallholder Farmers. The Mali study updated 13 of TASAI’s 22 indicators. Data collection in the seven countries was completed despite the challenges posed by the emergence in 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dissemination workshops presenting the results of the studies play a critical role in validating their findings. This year, dissemination workshops have been held in Ghana, Mali, Malawi, and Burkina Faso. All workshops were conducted in adherence to the prevailing government health guidelines for meetings at the time: hybrid workshops for Ghana (April 20) and Mali (July 23); virtual meetings for Malawi (July 28) and Burkina Faso (August 10). All four validation workshops invited seed experts from the host nations and other African countries. The workshops were officially opened by high-ranking government officials. The Mali workshop was opened by the Minister of Rural Development who graced the occasion. Dissemination workshops in Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria are planned for September and October of this year. All seven reports will be published in English and French on the TASAI website.

With COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed in several countries in 2021, TASAI rolled out a further five comprehensive studies in Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Inception meetings were held virtually in Rwanda (February 5) and Mozambique (February 17); in-person meetings were held in Ethiopia (March 9) and Tanzania (May 6); in Mali, a hybrid inception meeting was conducted on July 23. Local participants included representatives from the national seed regulatory agency, seed associations, agricultural research institutes, seed companies, and development partners. Also in attendance were seed industry experts and development practitioners from a wide range of institutions, including the African Seed Trade Association, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development, the Development Alternatives Inc., the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and New Markets Lab. Once the 2021 studies are completed, the TASAI team will commence the dissemination phase in each country, giving seed industry stakeholders the opportunity to review and critique the latest TASAI findings.