Seed Info No. 29
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Seed Info aims to stimulate information exchange and communication among seed staff in the Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region. The purpose is to contribute towards the development of stronger national seed programs which supply quality seed to farmers. In this issue of Seed Info we present a lead article on Genetically Modified crops—Patents, Licenses and Liability by N.P. Louwaars our regular contributor from Wageningen University and Research Center, Wageningen, The Netherlands. He explores the existing arrangements of patent protection and options for licensing the technology and the emerging issues of liability with particular reference to plant breeding and commercial seed production in developing countries. We are also bringing you news from the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA), International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), the International Seed Federation (ISF) and the International Union for Protection of New PlantVarieties (UPOV). The section on SEED PROGRAMS includes news from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Yemen. Abdurahman Beshir from Ethiopia presents the activities of the farmer-based seed production and marketing activities being undertaken by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE) to meet farmers’ demand for quality seed in less accessible and remote areas of the country. Mohammed Sallam describes efforts undertaken and implemented by the Agricultural Research and Extension Authority (AREA) in improving the informal seed supply system in Yemen. The country reports include the Regional Workshop on Plant Variety Protection held in Iran and varietal releases of legume and forage crops in Ethiopia, Mexico and Turkey from germplasm supplied by ICARDA. In the HOW TO section, your regular contributor, Abdoul Aziz Niane describes the sources of contamination and procedures to maintain varietal purity and identity during seed production. The RESEARCH section is aimed at capturing information on adapted research or issues relevant to seed program development in the region or elsewhere. Anders Borgen from Denmark describes a promising method of removing common bunt spores from wheat seed lots using a brush cleaner. Seed Info encourages exchange of information to broaden our understanding of issues that affect the global, regional and national seed industry.