World-Class Technologies for Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Art of the Deal

What do the following have in common?   DOWNLOAD PUBLICATION I PDF

  • A staple consumed by millions of people − strangled by a weed that could not be vanquished.
  • A bean prized by millions for its high protein content − that all too often gets devoured by a caterpillar before harvest.
  • The fastest growing staple in Africa − but which most African countries import, since the local varieties are low-yielding and difficult to produce.
  • A popular food crop that increasingly fails as climate change brings hotter, drier weather to many areas.

All these are major African crops with major problems that require urgent attention in order to meet food security and economic development needs and that AATF is involved in addressing through focused partnerships with technology owners, researchers, agribusiness, and governments. You learn about the crops referred to in the pages in this book.

AATF itself owns no research fields, laboratories or patents. Instead, AATF staff work with more than 80 research, technology, policy, government, and NGO partners to connect ideas and agreements, people and technologies to ensure that what comes out of laboratories can be developed into excellent tools for smallholder farmers in Africa. AATF and partners also ensure that these technologies get approved by policymakers and regulators, get produced by local agribusinesses and are made available to smallholder farmers. This in turn enables farmers to produce high-yielding, high quality staples and other crops and enjoy higher income and food security.

The solutions may be a disease-resistant banana, drought-tolerant maize seed, insect pest-resistant cowpea, special machines for planting and harvesting cassava, a deal with commercial seed companies or a study tour for policy makers to better understand biotechnology. In each case, AATF is contributing to solving tough problems to help African farmers improve yield, income, and lives.

We focus on more than the value chain. We work on a value “web” linking not only farmers, input dealers and markets – but also research institutes, private companies, technology developers, royalty-holders, machinery assemblers, policy makers, and the media.

We are the “honest brokers”: persuading, negotiating, advocating, getting permissions, licensing, sub-licensing, arranging for royalties or royalty-free arrangements.

The following pages introduce ten projects in ten countries, and includes reminiscences on the organisation’s founding and thoughts on where it’s going.

We hope you enjoy the tour.


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