Grantee: The Alliance for Commodity Trade in East and Southern Africa (ACTESA)
Project name: “Domestication of Harmonised Seed Trade Regulations in East and Southern Africa”
Grant amount: £1,200,939
Project start date: 1st December 2014
Project duration: 3 years 3 months
Countries benefiting: Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe
Description of the organization:
The Alliance for Commodity Trade in East and Southern Africa (ACTESA) is a regional Agricultural Specialised Agency of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). ACTESA’s mission is to integrate smallholder farmers into domestic, regional and international markets through an improved policy environment and expanded market facilities and services. ACTESA was established by the COMESA Authority to harmonise and coordinate multiple interventions of member states, development partners, implementing agencies and the COMESA Secretariat. The principal goal of ACTESA is to contribute to regional integration and improved regional competiveness of staple food markets across the East and Southern Africa region. ACTESA is headquartered in the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka, Zambia.
FoodTrade ESA’s investment will assist ACTESA, to facilitate the domestication of harmonised seed trade regulations in east and southern Africa. The current regulatory environment surrounding seed production and certification in southern and east Africa makes it costly to do business in this sector, impeding both private sector investment in innovation and expansion in production. Until now seed trade has been hampered by complex national regulations, a lack of common regional standards for production, seed quality, certification and release. These factors have created fragmented markets that limit producers’ ability to produce and traders’ incentives to sell seed in multiple countries across the region. FoodTrade ESA will work through ACTESA to organise dialogues and activities with member states to promote and accelerate seed reforms at the national level in seven countries. The aim of these activities is both to build awareness and to assist the private sector to push for greater reforms, thus enabling cross border trade and opportunities to earn income by producers, traders and farmers.