How can we safeguard Africa’s crops?

GLF Live with Nora Castañeda-Álvarez and Daniel Ashie Kotey

This episode is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Amazon Music.

From deadly cyclones to devastating droughts, Africa is already grappling with the effects of the climate crisis, which are being exacerbated by large-scale land degradation. At the same time, the continent is also home to one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, posing major challenges for its food security.

One important way to ensure a reliable and nutritious supply of food is by protecting crop diversity from being lost – which is why the Crop Trust has partnered with five African genebanks through Seeds for Resilience, a five-year project providing financial and technical support to safeguard the national seed collections of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.

In this GLF Live in cooperation with the Crop Trust, join us as we speak with Daniel Ashie Kotey, acting director of Ghana’s national genebank, CSIR-PGRRI, and Nora Castañeda-Álvarez, who leads Seeds for Resilience at the Crop Trust, to learn how the project aims to bolster the country’s long-term food security and climate resilience.

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Dr. Daniel Ashie Kotey is the acting director of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research–Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute (CSIR-PGRRI). He previously served as the acting deputy director of the institute, during which time he successfully coordinated the external review of the institutional and technical capacity, adequacy of facilities and operational procedures of the CSIR-PGRRI to meet the challenges of long-term conservation and use of its key crop collections. He was also a part-time lecturer at the Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Fort Hare, South Africa. He is a member of a number of national committees in Ghana, including the National Codex Committee, the National Variety Release and Registration Committee as well as the National Biodiversity Steering Committee. 

Dr. Kotey also serves as Ghana’s national focal point for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). He is the project manager for Ghana of Seeds for Resilience, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Development Bank (KfW) and managed by the Crop Trust. He holds a master’s degree in insect science from the University of Ghana, Legon, and a PhD in entomology from the University of Fort Hare, South Africa.

Nora Castañeda-Álvarez leads Seeds for Resilience, a Crop Trust project helping national genebanks in Africa upgrade their facilities and processes for the long-term conservation of important plant genetic resources. Nora was trained as an agronomist at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and holds a PhD in biological conservation from the University of Birmingham (UK). Before joining the Crop Trust, Nora worked in several research projects, including the modelling of potential distributions of more than 1,000 crop wild relatives’ species globally, and the design of more sustainable agriculture production systems in degraded Amazonian landscapes.

Article tags

Africabiodiversitycrop diversityfoodgenebanksgenetic diversity

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