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5 September 2018

Services in seed and crop certification for Africa and the UK

Seed production and crop export sectors of Africa are substantially under-developed due to the shortcomings of current certification practices that present a barrier to private sector investment and growth.

Today Fera Science Ltd and Muddy Boots Software Ltd are announcing that they have combined their unique skills and technologies to develop an affordable and scalable means to provide ‘digital services’ for certification and supply chain integrity which can be readily deployed in-country. 

Fera Science Ltd (Fera) and Muddy Boots are working together to address the critical challenge of certification of seed crops, certification of export crops and associated supply chain integrity, for which significant market failures are currently attributed. The African seed market is mostly non-commercial, or informal, and even with major staples, such as maize seed, the majority of seed is not certified and therefore not of an assured quality and therefore potentially of uncertain variety purity, pest and disease status and ultimately low yield and/or marketability. Whereas, for export of fruit and vegetables, into UK and EU markets, ongoing concerns over regulatory non-compliance rejection due to the presence of quarantine pest and/or exceedance of pesticide residues stands to escalate with new EU plant health regulations and as the UK exits the EU.

Fera creates and delivers integrated, innovative and scientific services to industry across the agri-food supply chain and in support of governments, regulators and research bodies. Muddy Boots develops cloud-based, quality assurance systems for the Food and Ag industry that passes data up and down supply chains for evidence-based business-critical decisions, reduced waste improved food safety and risk mitigation.

Muddy Boot’s proven Greenlight system and Fera’s regulatory and scientific knowledge in plant health and food safety, have combined to develop two digital platforms for the certification of seed crops (SeedAssured) and certification of export crops (PhytAssured). Each product will be operable in the field, at the border and/or in the office or at home giving Government and industry supply chain visibility from anywhere in the world. These services respond to the twinned needs of better crop management practices and transparency in production and supply chain management and will assure regulatory compliance for market access. 

The success of SeedAssured and PhytAssured, will further the international outreach of both Fera and Muddy Boots, exploiting UK know how and professional services into global markets, whilst delivering tangible gains to the African agricultural sector in its development and prosperity.

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