The expansion of the commercial seed sector in sub-Saharan Africa: Major players, key issues and trends
The report (PDF) by The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), describes how the seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa, far from being a homogenous bloc, is comprised of several layers. These include the largest multinational companies: Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta and Vilmorin; a number of large companies from Europe and Asia, many of whom specialise in vegetable crops; and a group of former national seed companies from eastern and southern Africa, such as Zimbabwe’s SeedCo, Zamseed in Zambia, Tanseed in Tanzania, and the Kenya Seed Company. Joining these established players is a plethora of emerging African seed companies, many of which have received financial and technical support from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Maize and horticulture are the two biggest seed markets on the continent. Seed industry activity is mostly concentrated in the Guinea-Savannah agro-ecological zone, a vast area stretching from the east coast to west Africa, identified as being of high agronomic potential.