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Regulatory harmonization, capacity
development, and near and long-
term reforms for seed systems
development
John C. Keyse...
Current obstacles to seed trade
• Small and fragmented markets; many countries with
own rules for…
• Variety acceptance
• ...
Implications of trade obstacles
• Yields not improving; farmers left with few options.
• High costs and small markets mean...
Efforts to improve seed trade
• Regional harmonization a popular approach
• SADC, COMESA, EAC (with ASARECA), ECOWAS/UEMOA...
What the regional rules cover
• Most regional rules…
• Common procedures for DUS and VCU testing based on
UPOV.
• Regional...
Risks of harmonization
• Time consuming to agree on detailed rules.
• Cannot implement or afford advanced seed rules (smal...
Alternatives to harmonization
• Automatic variety registration.
• South Africa requires 1 season of DUS tests only.
• Bang...
• Turkey
• Accepts test data from private companies.
• Within five years, number of maize hybrids increased from
24 to 114...
TASAI – An index of seed policies
and institutions
• Research and development
• Number of breeders, number of varieties re...
TASAI - Industry scoring of
indicator importance
http://tasai.org
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Regulatory harmonization, capacity development, and near and long-term reforms for seed systems development

Presentation by John C. Keyser, Senior Trade Economist at the World Bank, on April 28, 2016

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Regulatory harmonization, capacity development, and near and long-term reforms for seed systems development

  1. 1. Regulatory harmonization, capacity development, and near and long- term reforms for seed systems development John C. Keyser Senior Agriculture Trade Economist World Bank Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice Supplying High-Quality Seeds and Traits to Smallholder Farmers: Policy and Investment Options for Developing-Country Seed Systems International Food Policy Research Institute Washington DC 28 April 2016
  2. 2. Current obstacles to seed trade • Small and fragmented markets; many countries with own rules for… • Variety acceptance • Seed certification • Phytosanitary control • Intellectual property rights • Current conditions make private investment risky and expensive for private sector. • Historically, many national seed systems dominated by government parastatals. • Situation has changed since liberalization, but rules and institutions still “catching up”.
  3. 3. Implications of trade obstacles • Yields not improving; farmers left with few options. • High costs and small markets mean seed companies may register just a few varieties and hold others back. • Heavy burden on public agriculture research. • Inability to meet own quality rules puts farmers at risk. • In Uganda (even with ISTA lab), input quality is so poor and unreliable the rate of return on “hybrid” seed and fertilizer is negative 12.2%. • UPOV and other treaties provide for IPR on seed, yet national policies may contradict these agreements and undermine private confidence. • Some require parental lines to be given NARS for variety tests. • Restrictions and outright bans on private variety maintenance.
  4. 4. Efforts to improve seed trade • Regional harmonization a popular approach • SADC, COMESA, EAC (with ASARECA), ECOWAS/UEMOA • Andean Pact, MECOSUR, Central America • SAARC, ASEAN • EU common catalog • Goals of harmonization • Speed variety introduction. • Eliminate duplicate procedures. • Minimize costs. • Provide greater quality assurance. • Create larger markets. • Allows public researchers to focus on neglected crops and areas.
  5. 5. What the regional rules cover • Most regional rules… • Common procedures for DUS and VCU testing based on UPOV. • Regional catalogs of registered varieties. • Common certification rules based on OECD and ISTA. • Mutual recognition of seed certificates. • Some regional rules… • Common pest lists to minimize need for inspection. • Few regional rules… • Specific regulations or guidance on protecting IPR for seed.
  6. 6. Risks of harmonization • Time consuming to agree on detailed rules. • Cannot implement or afford advanced seed rules (small seed companies affected most). • Mutual recognition demands trust. • Reform-minded countries can be held back by less progressive partners. • Advanced rules typically overlook indigenous landraces. • International systems already exist. • Other potentially easier and more productive solutions.
  7. 7. Alternatives to harmonization • Automatic variety registration. • South Africa requires 1 season of DUS tests only. • Bangladesh accepts test data from private companies. • Accept other national/regional variety lists. • Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda (supposedly) require just one season of domestic trials if variety registered by another. • Involve private agencies in seed certification. • Allow private variety maintenance. • Embrace simple risk-based alternatives such as QDS. • Provide “exclusive rights” to public varieties.
  8. 8. • Turkey • Accepts test data from private companies. • Within five years, number of maize hybrids increased from 24 to 114; maize yields rose by 1.4 tons/ha. • Pakistan • Since 2005, private maize hybrids helped raise maize yields from less than 2.0 tons/ha to more than 3.0 tons/ha. • Bangladesh • Private maize hybrids and acceptance of private test data helped raise yields from less than 1.0 tons/ha in 1991 to more than 6.0 tons/ha in 2010. Use of alternative approaches
  9. 9. TASAI – An index of seed policies and institutions • Research and development • Number of breeders, number of varieties released, availability of foundation seed. • Industry competitiveness • Number of companies, time to import, market share of top companies and current govt. parastatal. • Policies and regulations • Length of variety release process, adequacy of seed inspectors, efforts to stamp out fake seed. • Institutional support • Availability of extension, quality of national seed association. • Service to smallholder farmers • Presence of rural agro-dealers, availability in small seed packs. http://tasai.org
  10. 10. TASAI - Industry scoring of indicator importance http://tasai.org

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