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SPTA Project Brief – Modern and Pure Hybrids for African Farmers (updated July 2020)

The Seed Production Technology for Africa (SPTA) project is working to implement an advanced seed production system in Africa for the benefit of smallholder farmers. Smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa regularly use outdated maize hybrids and open-pollinated varieties that limit yield potential. Studies show that only 57 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s maize-growing area is planted with recently purchased seed. The average weighted age of hybrids grown in the region is 15 years compared to an average of fewer than 5 years in highly productive world regions. This is despite the availability of improved maize hybrids developed to help farmers deal with an array of stresses such as drought, pests, and diseases.