CCARDESA convenes a workshop on seed harmonisation in SADC

seed harThe Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa CCARDESA convened a workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa from 22 to 23 March 2017 to discuss the seed harmonisation process in SADC and COMESA regions focussing on progress made by Agricultural Productivity Programme for Southern Africa (APPSA) participating countries regarding preparedness to participate in listing seed varieties on the regional catalogue.
APPSA is a World Bank funded project which is being implemented with the coordination of CCARDESA. It is currently being implement in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. More countries are expected to join in future. The aim of APPSA is to strengthen and scale up regional cooperation in generation of technologies, capacity building, and knowledge sharing in legumes, rice and maize.
The workshop looked at how best to enhance the capacity of APPSA countries to effectively integrate seed policy harmonization issues into national planning and implementation in order to facilitate seed availability and affordability. The workshop attracted participation from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia and key note presenters from FAO-SFS, COMESA-ACTESA, Agricultural Research Council (ARC), USAID – Seed Harmonisation Project and SADC Seed Centre.The following are agreed actions in order to ensure that harmonized seed policy issues are effectively implemented:

  1.  Awareness creation to minimise legal impediments to be initiated by national stakeholders with support from regional communities through workshops, policy briefs targeting National Seed Authorities, policy makers, Seed Trade Association, Customs officials, Seed Producers & Seed Inspectors;
  2. Alignment of national legal frameworks to the SADC/COMESA Seed Harmonisation Policy to be spearheaded by national seed authorities.
     Lobbying and advocacy for alignment by the National Seed Trade Association
     Ensuring effective participation by the private sector in the alignment process;
  3. Preparation of policy briefs on Seed Harmonisation System and sharing with policy makers and politicians to fast track the revision of national seed laws to enhance seed trade;
  4. Ensuring commitment by countries to joint listing of crop varieties on regional seed catalogue(s) and ensuring effective participation of emerging seed companies through collaboration with and facilitation by NARs and CGIAR centres;
  5. Facilitation of simultaneous release of varieties in two countries to assume regional status and testing of the Seed Harmonisation System across borders;
  6. Development and implementation of awareness campaign action plans with assistance from the SADC Seed Centre, COMESA (for COMESA countries) and CCARDESA.

This Post was written by the APPSA team at CCARDESA. For more information about the workshop please contact Dr M. Murata at  mmurata[at]ccardesa.org.

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