Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) aims to accelerate Africa’s agricultural productivity and the enhanced production of staple crops. The initiative is a response to poor yields, increasing dependence on costly food imports, and an agricultural sector that functions far below its potential. Staple crop yields have barely grown in the past 25 years, and remain the lowest of any region in the world – at just 56 percent of the global average.
ICARDA is collaborating with CGIAR partner the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture to lead the TAAT initiative’s wheat component. Funded by the African Development Bank, activities target four wheat-producing African countries: Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and Kenya. Activities include capacity strengthening, strengthening seed systems, and the promotion and dissemination of improved climate-resilient wheat varieties and production technologies.
The TAAT approach to raise wheat productivity:
- Strengthening weak seed systems: targeting more efficient and diverse seed systems with accelerated seed multiplication and delivery; enhancing the capacity of private sector seed enterprises; and promoting community-based seed production and delivery systems.
- Disseminating improved wheat varieties: scaling-up climate-smart and heat-tolerant wheat varieties.
- Scaling-up proven technologies, including: raised-bed technologies adapted to lowland irrigated areas; and conservation agriculture adapted to rainfed conditions.
- Initiating the development of innovation platforms: designed to promote technologies, raise the capacities of farmers and other stakeholders, and link farmers to input and output markets.
- Strengthening capacity: enhancing the skills, expertise and knowledge of key stakeholders, including: women and youth groups – providing training on entrepreneurism and agri-business skills development; innovation platform facilitators; and extension agents - on various aspects of wheat production and post-harvest management