Seed Info No. 27
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Seed Info aims to stimulate information exchange and communication among seed staff in the Central, 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. The last issue of Seed Info focused on trends in seed legislation in developing countries with emphasis on deregulation. Following the grant of patents on living materials in the early 1980s and the conclusion of international agreements in Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) of the WTO in 1993, Intellectual Property Rights have gained importance in the seed sector worldwide. In the VIEWS section of this issue we feature the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) on Seeds with emphasis on patents and breeders' rights by your regular contributor N.P. Louwaars, from Wageningen UR, The Netherlands. We also bring you updates on recent meetings of the African Seed Trade Association, (AFSTA), the Egyptian Seed Association (ESAS), the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and the International Seed Federation (ISF). The section on SEED PROGRAMS includes news from Afghanistan, Algeria, Ethiopia, Iran, Morocco and the Central Asian Republics. The FHCRAA activities in Afghanistan describes the four new projects being implemented under the Rebuilding Agricultural Markets in Afghanistan Program (RAMP) dealing with demonstration and technology transfer, establishment of village-based seed enterprises, potato seed production and the introduction of protected agriculture. From Algeria we report on the establishment of the national seed association, as a focal point for the private sector. Country reports from elsewhere present crop variety releases of cereals, legumes and forages across CWANA. It is expected that the national seed programs will play a greater role in the adoption and diffusion of these new crop varieties. For a seed testing laboratory to be accredited, it must establish a quality system, but, to keep the accreditation valid, it should ensure that the system is properly implemented. The evidence for successful establishment, implementation and improvement of a quality system is ascertained by the audit. Hence obtaining and maintaining accreditation depends on inspection by an independent audit. In the HOW TO section, your regular contributor, Abdoul Aziz Niane, presents the procedures for auditing a seed testing laboratory to ensure that all aspects of its quality system are effective, fully implemented and adhered to by its staff at all levels. The RESEARCH section is aimed at capturing information on adapted research relevant to seed program development in the region or elsewhere. In the last issue we presented an article comparing forage seed production at a research station and at farm levels in northeast Syria. On the other hand, indigenous forage species play an important role in the long-term sustainability of rangelands because of their adaptation to the environment. They could be alternative feed resources compared to exotic or imported forage species with high demand for scarce water resources. However, the availability of seed of indigenous forage species is a major limiting factor. In this issue we present efforts undertaken on seed production of indigenous forage species in Dhofar Jabal region in southern Oman. Seed Info encourages exchange of information among professionals to broaden our understanding of issues that affect the seed industry nationally, regionally or globally.