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ICRISAT Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Mali’s Seed Industry

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01 August 2023, Africa: Mali’s 11th Seed Fair witnessed a remarkable moment as the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Seed Association of Mali (ASSEMA).

The recognition was given to ICRISAT for its exceptional work in developing new sorghum, millet, and groundnut varieties, producing early-generation seeds, and conducting capacity-building initiatives.

The Seed Fair showcased an impressive array of crops, including sorghum, millet, maize, rice, wheat, fonio, groundnut, cowpea, soybean, and vegetables.

The three-day Seed Fair began with the inauguration of the Bamako Forum on Seeds (FOSEB) by Mali’s Prime Minister, Dr Choguel K Maiga, in the presence of the Minister of Rural Development.

Prime Minister Maiga emphasized the crucial role of quality seeds and the significance of recognizing women’s pivotal role in agriculture within Mali. He stressed the importance of stakeholder collaboration to develop sustainable agricultural solutions, enhance food security, and achieve self-sufficiency in the country.

L-R: Mr Aboubacar Sidiki Diané, Managing Director of “Société Diané et Frère (SODIAF)” and treasurer of ASSEMA, presents a Certificate of Appreciation to ICRISAT staff Mr Boubakary Cisse. ​ ​

ICRISAT actively participated in the events, with Mr Boubakary Cisse, Technology Transfer Officer, and Dr Mohamed Riyazaddin, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Millet Breeding, engaging in a panel discussion on “Opportunities and Challenges Related to the Production and Commercialization of Certified Seeds.”

Mr Boubakary Cisse underscored the importance of investments in the agricultural sector, supportive policies for variety development and release, adoption of hybrid seeds, and active involvement from the private sector.

Mr Cisse also identified critical obstacles within the seed system, including the lack of storage facilities for medium and long-term conservation, high seed production costs, the absence of seed testing laboratories in production areas, and the need for seed production planning. He proposed leveraging the food processing industry as a driving force for the growth of the seed sub-sector.

The event provided a platform for diverse stakeholders to unite, with over two hundred participants in attendance. Notable attendees included research institutes like the Institute of Rural Economy (IER) and ICRISAT; public services such as the Agricultural Division, National Seed Services, Seeds Laboratory, and Development Offices; and entities such as producer cooperatives, seed producers, seed enterprises, input dealers, private sector representatives, young leaders from start-ups, national and international NGOs, and development projects.

Local processors displayed their homemade products and beverages, adding to the diversity of the exhibits at the event.

The 11th edition of Mali’s Seed Fair took place from June 22nd to June 24th, 2023, at the International Conference Center (CICB) in Bamako, Mali. This event served as a platform for fostering collaboration among various stakeholders to promote agricultural development and food security in the nation.

Also Read: India’s decision to ban the export of non-basmati rice created a worldwide uproar

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