Madagascar

I was welcomed to Madagascar by Mr. Mbosa Rabenasola, agronomist and agricultural consultant who has long promoted the role of both research and the private sector in achieving a Malgasy Green Revolution.  Mbosa, as he is known, had come highly recommended to us by Justin Rakotoarisaona, Secretary General of AFSTA, the African Seed Trade Association,

Sierra Leone

Located on the western coast of Africa, Sierra Leone is known for its beautiful, white-sand beaches lining the Freetown Peninsula. Leaving those asides for the time-being, I and Dr. Vithal Karoshi from the Cornell/Sathguru consortium embarked on a weeklong visit to learn about the seed systems of the country. We came to learn that Sierra

Guinea

Driving with our host and national consultant, Mr Ibrahima Diallo, from the capital city of Conakry to the agricultural research station of Koba, situated 150km further North, in maritime or lower Guinea, what strikes a newcomer like myself is the natural beauty, tropical forest, and of course you get just a glimpse of the plentiful

Angola

Angolan agriculture can perhaps best be described as a sleeping giant.  Prior the outbreak of civil war in 1975, Angola exported serious tonnages of maize and other grains.  Sadly, today, a full 18 years after the cessation of hostilities, smallholder agriculture is still highly undeveloped, largely due to failed policies which favored large-scale production up

Eritrea

Scanning the countryside from 30,000 feet on the flight from Addis Ababa to Asmara toward the end of the growing season, I was struck by the progressive shift from a green landscape to a paler shade of green, and finally yellow as we came in to land.  Eritrea’s agro-ecologies are quite varied, like most African

Côte d’Ivoire

With all of its natural advantages in the area of agriculture (central location in West Africa, strong research capacity, long history of private sector involvement, and very favorable agro-ecologies for the production of a wide range of crops), one might expect Côte d’Ivoire to be well-advanced in the development of its seed systems.  Côte d’Ivoire

Chad

One key to our learning so much in Chad was first connecting with Dr. Diego Boilengar.  Dr. Boilengar is a former university lecturer in Germany, specialized in agricultural enterprise development.  He was serving as a special advisor to the Minister of Agriculture, and from the moment I cold-called him from Nairobi one day in May,

Niger

I was introduced to the Ministry of Agriculture of Niger by my great friend and longtime colleague, Dr. Issoufou Kapran.  He put me in contact with Mr. Boukari Diamoitou Nguessibo, the Secretary General of the Ministry.  I flew into Niamey’s brand new, and very impressive, international airport, and met with Mr. Diamoitou and the head

Benin

Arriving in Benin’s capital of Cotonou on a Sunday, I didn’t really know what to expect.  Like many international agronomists working in Africa, I’d spent a lot of time in neighboring Nigeria, and lived for several years in Ghana, but Benin – the former Dahomey – had always remained outside my travel itineraries.  What a

Togo

The most interesting thing about my week in Togo was that about an hour after landing in Lome, I was addressing the Minister of Agriculture and his full cabinet regarding the importance of improved seed for Togo’s farmers, and the mission of SSG.  And I’d never been to Togo.  The high-energy Agriculture Minister, Mr. Noel