SPEECH OF Ms EDWINA JENNY FLATHEN TAYLOR, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF SEEDING AFRICAINTERNATIONAL ON THE LAUNCH OF JFT-FOUNDATION/SEEDING FRICA-UGANDA ON 25TH/02/2022
An idea is a seed that once sawn and properly cared for and tendered too, can grow into a beautiful plant. A plant that grows and bears fruits for us all to benefit from. That is why we are here today, JFT-Foundation’s vision is to secure indigenous organic seed and modernize urban farming, of which is the seed that is going to feed our future in Africa, Uganda in particular and unite us as one. So, as an individual, as we collectively here in Uganda and on the continent, embrace this idea and let’s work together in growing this seed into a beautiful and promising plant for our children and our future.
We all know of the plight of our youth in Africa. Lack of employment opportunities to sustain them and as a result some turn to harmful activities. That is why JFT-foundation intends to focus 50% of its project towards the youth of our beautiful continent in order to provide them with the needed tools to build up their capacities and provide them with a tangible hope of a viable and profitable future in organic farming.
Why organic? Why not?
Why should we settle for substandard genetically manipulated bad seeds that are harmful to our people when we can embrace the use of traditional organic seeds to live a healthy life like our ancestors lived? In life that we can eat good and healthy food to sustain our life span and bring peace and harmony to our continent.
Agriculture in Africa has a massive social and economic footprint, more than 60 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa are small holder farmers, and about 23 percent of the GDP comes from agriculture but according to FAO, about 874 million hectares of Africa’s land is considered suitable for agriculture production, of this about 83 percent have serious soil fertility or other limitations and will need costly improvements and amendments to achieve high and sustained productivity.
With the entire above-mentioned challenges one might think it’s hard or close to impossible for African farmers to achieve agriculture sustainability, environmental solutions, economic viability, and social stability.
SEEDING AFRICA, a mother of JENNY FLATHEN TAYLOR FOUNDATION as a charitable organization founded by Africans on the continent and the diaspora, has decided to face these challenges and transform the lives of farmers in Africa by increasing the commercial availability of organic seeds as a step in improving the sustainability of organic system and reducing the environmental impacts on the continent.
By using organic seeds introduced by SEEDING AFRICA, and its subsidiaries like JFT-Foundation, farmers won’t have to use imported fertilizers; these seeds are associated with superior performance which includes insect pest and disease resistance, weed tolerance, adaptation to biologically mediated nutrient availability and tolerance to climatic changes.
Also, organic farmers can plant the same seeds year after year which conventional farmers cannot, this means that organic farmers can select the strongest best seeds and use those to ensure that they make up a large share of the crop, with this, farmers on the continent will gain their economic viability as they won’t be spending any money to buy new seeds for the farming seasons.
Another most immediate effect of using organically grown seeds is the potential to minimize the amount of upstream pollution in the seeds production process, organic systems executed in a sustainable fashion can minimize ground water pollution, erosion and soil degradation, this means that by easing the process of accessing organic seeds, SEEDING AFRICA is not only transforming the lives of farmers but also protecting the environment and the continent at large, of which these environmental stresses are happening even as we speak, in Somalia the president has declared a state of emergency in the country due to the droughts that have been taking place for the last three months.
In my opinion thus by maintaining the health of the soil, we maintain our own health and that of the environment and through transforming the lives of African farmers we can all agree that the goal of ending hunger in Africa is achievable.
God bless our Africa
Feeding Our Future
Edwina Jenny Taylor Flathen
Founder and Chair