Smallholder access to seeds in Africa benchmarked

You’ll remember that the good people at Access to Seeds Index rate seed companies on how and to what extent they make their products available to smallholder farmer in developing countries. Today they launched the results for 32 companies working in Western and Central Africa. Here are the key findings (I’m quoting):

  • Seed companies are active in almost all index countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-east Asia.
  • Many companies are providing more diverse portfolios for vegetables and field crops but need to offer more pulses to help tackle malnutrition.
  • Leading seed companies are offering extension services in more countries.
  • Companies are still only concentrating their investments in infrastructure in a few countries.

But you want to know who did well in the rankings, right? Ok, here’s the Top 3.

Well done, Bayer, East-West and Novalliance.

Nibbles: Humble spud, Perry obsession, Eating to Extinction, Peasant studies

  1. The story of the potato in Poland.
  2. The story of one man’s obsession with the pear.
  3. Nice extract from Eating to Extinction by Dan Saladino. Get the whole book to get the full story!
  4. Free version of the classic Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions by Philip McMichael. The story? “Revaluing of food system diversity, and public and planetary health, reformulates the current agrarian question, rejecting food regime capital-centrism.”

Brainfood: Food system, Transformation of, Climate change effects on, Pandemic and, Future of, Effect of Green Revolution on, Mesoamerican CWR, Moroccan crop diversity, USA crop diversity, GM, Environmental behaviours

Feeling even better about crop wild relatives

The publication of “Legacy genetics of Arachis cardenasii in the peanut crop shows the profound benefits of international seed exchange” in PNAS rang a faint bell:

Here, we uncover the contribution of one wild species accession, Arachis cardenasii GKP 10017, to the peanut crop (Arachis hypogaea) that was initiated by complex hybridizations in the 1960s and propagated by international seed exchange.

And yes, it turns out we had blogged about this wild peanut species more than a decade ago, in Another feel-good crop wild relative story.

Some things have changed since 2008, I’m happy to say. I seem to have had some difficulty pulling together data1 at the time, whereas Genesys had no trouble at all showing me 45 accessions. And GKP 10017 even has a DOI now.

  1. And the links are now dead. []

Brainfood: Mapping double, Niche modelling, CGIAR impacts, Pathogen genebank, Data stewardship, Breeding tradeoffs, Organic vs conventional, Agronomic trials, Teff evaluation, Eggplant genetic resources, Quinoa phenotyping