Seed Unit Annual Report 1996
Communication Team ICARDA. (1/1/1996). Seed Unit Annual Report 1996. Aleppo, Syria: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
The Seed Unit of ICARDA, with financial support from the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Netherlands assists and strengthens seed production and supply systems in West Asia and the North Africa (WANA) region. The Unit has continued to expand in scope and staff strength in response to increasing and changing patterns of need in the national programs. Economics of Seed Production was introduced in 1996 as a new area of activity, while interviews were held for the post of training officer to coordinate current diverse and specialized training requirements. Interviews were also organized for a new head of the Unit to replace Dr. Tony van Gastel who left ICARDA after 11 years of service. A major, but rewarding preoccupation of staff time during 1996 was the development of a new Medium-term Plan for 1998-2000 for incorporation into the center-wide plan for ICARDA. New directions for the Unit's activities during this period will include collaborative work with national programs in seed production and distribution activities within the predominant informal seed sector. This requires an approach, which integrates disciplines in seed science and technology, policy, and economics. This does not imply an exclusive shift in emphasis to the informal sector, but one which establishes a close linkage between the informal and formal seed sectors. In addition, since many countries in WANA seek cost-effective seed system alternatives, the Unit will increasingly provide technical and policy guidance in privatization and similar efforts. This report discusses work carried out during 1996 within the main activity areas of the Unit: (1) WANA Regional Seed Network, (2) Economics of Seed (3) Seed Security, (4) Research, (5) Training, (6) Workshops, and (7) Production of Seed, and (8) Publication, Staff and Consultants.