Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, launched a project for coordination and collaboration among key players in the sector upon request of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research because of the weakness in a seed industry of Pakistan.
Pakistan has the shortage of trained human resources against the evolving technologies. Therefore, needs amendments in Seed Act of 1976 and enactment of Plant Breeders’ Rights law according to FAO officials.
Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department will be built for seed and plant supply industry regulations to help investors enhancing their technological capacity.
The enhanced capacity-building of seed certification and registration department will also be helpful to carry out Distinct, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) tests for effective variety protection under Plant Breeders’ Rights Act of 2016.
The project will strengthen the coordination and collaboration between key players in the seed industry along with smoothing value chain of wheat, rice, cotton and pluses and other crops for increased availability of quality seeds. To ensure the protection of crop varieties promotion of new crop varieties from public and private sectors Pakistan has also enacted Plant Breeders’ Rights Act 2016.The FAO project involves formalizing some arrangements with the investors for training in the areas of early generation seed production, DUS evaluation and seed certification and seed testing.
Dr. Dennis Thompson, International seed sector expert visited Pakistan for the project activity. A more functional certification system can improve the value of domestic industry participants and can instill more confidence in seed production on a regional basis. Collaboration, not competition, between private and public-sector, can reach
Industry development at the highest level, he said.
Former chairman of the Seed Association of Pakistan, Salman Mahmood Khan said that further strengthening of seed regulatory framework is required at the federal level.
The Punjab agricultural research department thinks that strengthening Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department and its capacity building along with other participants of the seed sector has become imperative in order to develop innovative seed industry in the country.
Dr. Abid Mahmood, Director-General of Agricultural Research said they will contribute by providing trained human resource for the project.
Dr. Yusuf Zafar Chairman of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council said that he has faith that mobilizing government towards meaningful development in the agricultural sector can rescue this sector to ensure food security and economic progress of Pakistan.
The project was set up with various working groups. One group gave a suggestion for building seed cells at public-sector research institute and private sector seed companies having linkages with the federal department of quality management across the value chain.