Seed Info No. 52
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The WANA Seed Network News provides information on activities relating to global and/or regional cooperation and collaboration in order to facilitate the development of a vibrant regional seed industry. In this issue of Seed Info, we report on the regional seed courses organized by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). In the News and Views section, Niels Louwaars, your regular contributor from the Dutch Seed Association, writes about Climate Change and Seed Systems, elaborating on the effects of CC on crop improvement and seed systems. Building resilient and robust seed systems is one of the responses for the expected variability and extreme weather conditions in the future. COP22 was recently held in November 2016 in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, charting future alliances in tackling CC. Other news in this section come from Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Tanzania, as well as from regional and/or international organizations, such as the World Bank, the International Seed Federation (ISF), the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). From the World Bank Group, the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team reported the completion of its Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2017 project, which will be published in early 2017. Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2017 will be the third in an annual series of reports, providing objective measures of good regulatory practices and their enforcement in 62 countries studied. The section on Seed Programs presents news from Brazil, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iran, Morocco, and Sudan. Ethiopia is stepping up its seed certification scheme, aligning it with regional and international norms and paving the way for its drive for membership in regional and international organizations. Brazil reports on the release of the first chickpea variety BRS Aleppo, whereas Georgia reports on the release of the winter wheat variety Agruni-1. Apart from high yields, the chickpea variety is resistant to fusarium wilt and the wheat variety is resistant to rusts, one of the major diseases in the Central Asia and Caucuses. The news from Morocco report on the findings of Seed Info Morocco’s wheat seed sector performance and technology adoption presented at a National Workshop in April 2016. ICARDA, in collaboration with Moroccan national partners, has conducted a study on the adoption and impacts of improved varieties of wheat and seed system analysis in Morocco. The study was part of a series of research undertakings within the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat and the Wheat- Legume Cropping Systems project in West Asia and North Africa, funded by the European Union and International Fund for Agricultural Development, respectively. In Sudan, a high-level consultation meeting on wheat seed system and value chain analysis was held on 10 May 2016. The study was part of the Support Agricultural Research for Development-Strategic Crops (SARD-SC) project funded by the African Development Bank. In both cases, the objective is to increase the effectiveness and impact of wheat research on food and nutrition security, poverty reduction and resilience of production systems through better targeting of improved technologies. The Research section of Seed Info captures information on adaptive research or issues relevant to the development of seed programs in the CWANA region and beyond. This issue features an article by Aynewa et al. from ICARDA, Ethiopia, titled Identification of Lentil Varieties in Southeastern Ethiopia. The paper discusses the participatory variety selection (PVS) of lentil varieties carried out across Africa Rising project sites in the Sinana district of Bale Zone in southeastern Ethiopia. PVS, both by female and male farmers, identified high-yielding lentil varieties that were well adapted and preferred by farmers. The activities are coupled with local seed production by organizing farmer groups in order to ensure the scaling out of the new varieties.