Science & TechWorld

New Digital Dashboard to Support Seed System Devt in Africa

ADDIS ABABA – After one year in development, the African Union on Tuesday said it has launched the African Seed Access Index (TASAI-VISTA) Dashboard.

The new, interactive digital tool seeks to measure, track, and compare enabling environments for competitive seed systems serving Africa across time and space.

In its nascent state, the AU says the Dashboard has incorporated data from some strategic commodities of seventeen Member States.

the digital tool, launched during the 22nd Africa Seed Traders Association (AFSTA) Congress late last week, also displays 22 different indicators that are essential to seed sector development at national level.

Such indicators are categorized under research and development, industry competitiveness, seed policy and regulations, institutional support and service to smallholder farmers, according to the pan-african bloc.

Head of Division of Agriculture and Food Security at the AU Commission, Dr. Simplice Nouala hailed the dashboard as a powerful communication and advocacy tool for policy makers, and seed enterprises, among others.

To this end, the Commission pledged to finalize the process of formalizing partnership with the TASAI Inc to facilitate the expansion of the coverage of the tool to all the 55 Member States of the AU.

Rising populations combined with climate change and other environmental factors are threatening Africa’s food and nutrition security, AU officials say.

“Therefore, it is urgent and necessary to provide decision-makers with information on where and how seed quality and availability are lagging for evidence-based actions,” says the AU.

“Hence the dashboard is timely and the right step towards making that information more easily accessible, user-friendly and actionable.”