Seed Info No. 34
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Seed Info aims to stimulate information exchange and regular staff in the Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region. The purpose is to help strengthen national seed programs, and thus improve the supply of quality seed to farmers. For most of the history of agriculture, farmers were engaged in domestication of crops. This was a slow process but over many generations of conscious and unconscious selection, it led to significant modification of many of our crop plants from their wild ancestors. The process of domesticating crops will continue as we are looking for new products and economic opportunities in a changing global agriculture and markets. In the NEWS AND VIEWS section, Bert van Duijn and Henrie Korthout from Fytagoras BV, present new crops targeting market opportunities in the horticulture sector in the Netherlands. For example, horticulture growers wish to produce new, higher-value crops for new (or existing) markets. These new crops may be functional foods targeted to specific target groups such as obesity or hyperactive children with learning problems. There is also news from Iowa State University, the International Seed Federation, and on Turkey’s accession to the Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV) convention. The section on SEED PROGRAMS includes news from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq and Pakistan. The news from Afghanistan focuses on a seed fair organized by the FAO Seed Project in Herat and an Agricultural Fair organized by Development Alternative Inc. in Jalalabad. From Ethiopia, we describe the just concluded Tailor Made Training Program implemented by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, Wageningen International and ICARDA to strengthen farmer-based seed production. From Iraq we report on the ongoing capacity building efforts for the rehabilitation and development of the national seed industry. From Pakistan, we report on the performance of the public and private seed sectors based on recent statistics released by the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department. The RESEARCH section aims to capture information on adaptive research or issues relevant to seed program development in the region and beyond. Asrat Asfaw from the Southern Agricultural Research Institute writes about seed relief intervention and the resilience of local seed system under stress in southern Ethiopia.