The seed sector in Pakistan- Ahsan Rana

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The seed sector in Pakistan- Ahsan Rana

  1. 1. The Seed Industry in Pakistan Regulation, Politics and Entrepreneurship Ahsan Rana September 2013
  2. 2. Historical Development Four distinct phases: • 1947 – 1950s – Small scale R&D; focus on a few crops • 1950s – mid 1970s – State-led development of an elaborate network of research institutes, extension departments and supplies agencies • Mid 1970s – mid 1990s – Legal and institutional development; growth in public sector infrastructure for seed provision • Mid 1990s – to date – Growth of the private sector; shift of several seed supply functions to seed companies
  3. 3. The Size and Structure • Pakistan has a large seed industry* – Estimated at US$ 845 million in 2008-09 – Potentially US$ 1.56 billion if 100% seed is replaced • Seed provided by a mix of public and private sector • Variety development still mainly in the public sector; but private sector is now the lead player in seed multiplication, import and distribution *Source: Hussain 2011
  4. 4. Certified Seed (2011-12) Crop Total seed requirement (metric ton) Certified seed as proportion of total requirement Private sector’s share of total certified seed Imported seed as a proportion of total certified seed Wheat 1,085,400 24 72 - Rice 42,480 81 86 22 Maize 31,914 39 98 85 Cotton 40,000 14 100 - Potato 372,725 1 98 97 Pulses 47,496 3 72 - Oilseeds 10,582 12 95 85 Vegetables 5,070 108 100 94 Fodder 40,138 33 100 100 Source: Data from Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC&RD)
  5. 5. Certified Seed (Contd.) • Certified seed only about 20% of the total requirement • Certified seed is provided by: – Private companies – State seed corporations • NGOs and farmers’ cooperatives provide a negligibly small volume in Pakistan. • Share of certified seed gradually growing for most crops: 1995-96 2011-12 Wheat 8% 24% Rice 6% 81% Maize 10% 39% Source: FSC&RD data and Salam 2012
  6. 6. Private Seed Companies • 755 registered seed companies – 5 are multinational • Monsanto, Pioneer, Bayer, ICI and Syngenta • None has a significant local R&D program • Mostly import hybrid seed of maize, sunflower, fodder, canola, alfalfa and sorghum – 750 are national • 82% located in Punjab, but also serve other provinces • Most established during the last two decades • Number still growing (418 new companies registered during 2005-13) • Now also into variety development: 10 out of 17 Bt cotton varieties developed by national seed companies • Horizontal and vertical integration taking place • Financing from a variety of sources
  7. 7. The Informal Sector • Around 80% of the seed is provided by the informal sector comprising: – Private seed companies – Breeders – Farmers • For cotton, their respective shares in Sindh province in 2012 were:* – Formal sector – 14% • All provided by seed companies – Informal sector - 86% *Source: Rana et al. 2012 Seed companies 69% Breeders 15% Other farmers 8% Farmer-saved seed 6% Others 2%
  8. 8. The Informal Sector (Contd.) • Very large informal sector mainly due to the archaic legal framework – Bureaucratic and lengthy procedures – Variety registration or seed certification add little value to seed business – Weak enforcement of seed laws • Consequently, companies often market their new varieties without registering them with FSC&RD – Such seed often sold under company label – Brand names have started to emerge – Uncertified seed is not necessarily of poor quality
  9. 9. The Legal Framework • Seed sector regulated by the Seed Act of 1976 – Does not provide for registration of seed companies – Envisages minimal role for the private sector – Seed (Registration) Rules of 1987 prohibit production of seed of unapproved varieties – Seed certification is voluntary for seed of approved varieties. – Variety registration does not confer any right on the breeder. • In the absence of IPRs, seed of even registered varieties is produced and sold by several companies under their label. – Farmer seed saving neither restricted nor regulated.
  10. 10. Reforming the Legal Regime • Draft amendment to Seed Act of 1976 – Requires seed business to register with FSC&RD – Prohibits sale of uncertified seed or seed of unapproved varieties • Draft Punjab Seed Act of 2011 – Aims to support a vibrant seed industry – Vests powers in a broad-based Seed Council – Requires only scheduled crops to be regulated • Other crops can be sold under a truth-in-labelling regime • Both proposals extend regulatory oversight to the private sector • Both do not create IPRs • Private sector’s response has been lukewarm
  11. 11. Reforming the Legal Regime (Contd.) • Draft Plant Breeders’ Rights Act – First draft prepared in 1999 to meet TRIPS requirements – Based on UPOV 1999 model law – Provides for registration of varieties provided they meet DUS criteria and are novel • VCU dispensed with; thus allows breeders to register ‘new’, rather than ‘useful’ varieties – Registration also available for EDVs – Registration confers IPRs for 20 years (25 years for trees and vines) – Farmers’ right to save seed protected • Unfortunately, the PBR Bill is still pending with the government. • Seed companies not pushing it vigorously, as they are unsure of state’s ability to enforce IPRs and want to continue to use others’ material in their breeding programs.
  12. 12. Recommendations • Reform the archaic seed sector legislation – Draft Punjab Seed Act can be a good starting point – Enact PBRs without further delay • Bring the focus to the informal sector – More research – Support to farmers in seed saving • Rethink the conceptualisation of the formal and the informal – In the current paradigm, formal sector is certified seed of approved varieties provided by registered seed business – In a new paradigm, it can be seed provided by registered companies under their own label. – Pakistan needs to move from a regime characterised by official sanction to a regime characterised by farmers’ choice.
  13. 13. Thanks

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