New Regional Seed Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus

23/01/2009A new Regional Seed Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus was recently formed under the auspices of a FAO technical cooperation project with the technical guidance of FAO-AGP. The new Association groups together private and public-sector seed producers of 10 countries under the umbrella of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The domestic annual seed market of ECO countries comprising Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, is estimated to reach at least US $1 billion.

The mission of the Association is to promote the development of the seed industry and trade in the region and to provide a forum for cooperation and information exchange among national seed associations and seed companies. A dynamic seed trade will facilitate access of farmers to good quality seed of appropriate varieties suited to their agro-ecological conditions and therefore contribute to foster food production and to mitigate the effects of food crisis.

To formally launch the new seed association into action, FAO in collaboration with the Secretariat of ECO and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), will conduct a two-day stakeholders’ meeting in Antalya, Turkey in March 2009 to finalize the constitution and bylaws of the association, elect the first executive members and prepare the first plan of work of the Association. It is envisaged that the meeting will announce the date of the First Regional Technical and Trade Seed Conference for Central Asia held under the auspices of the new association.

For more information please contact Michael.Larinde@fao.org