Grantee: Afritec Seed Company Ltd
Project name: “Improving smallholder farmer incomes through improved rice varieties & hybrids”
Grant amount: £500,000
Project start date: 2nd March 2015
Project duration: 2 years 9 months
Countries benefiting: Kenya (primary); Tanzania; Uganda; and Mozambique
Description of the organization:
Afritec Seeds Limited (Afritec) is a limited for-profit company registered in Kenya. It was established in 2013 as a commercial entity but its origins stem from Baobab Breeding Systems Ltd., which implemented a fee-for-service hybrid rice development company. With its core business in hybrid rice seed, the company has an annual turnover of £400,000.00. Afritec is now the commercial beneficiary of product development contracts with BBSL and Hybrids East Africa Limited (HEAL).
With investment from FoodTrade ESA, this project is designed to take hybrid rice technology from the research farms of HEAL, and put it into the hands of small farmers around Eastern Africa. Afritec will commercialize the technology developed by the owners and employees of Afritec, HEAL and BBSL, and sell this technology to farmers, who will be the primary beneficiaries of an expected additional £95 per acre value of hybrid rice seed planted. A key to Afritec’s strategy is ensuring that farmers get provided pure, high quality clean seed and to help them transition from traditional varietals to the hybrid types. While hybrid rice has been used in China, the US and Asia for many years, Afritec will market the very first hybrids developed in sub-Saharan Africa, seeds bred specifically for the needs of African farmers. The first product development cycle is completed and the technology is ready for deployment. Afritec will begin to market high yielding varieties in Year 1 of the project and will replace these with hybrids in Year 2 as they are registered for sale with authorities in Kenya, then Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique.