AGP - detail
TCP/LEB/3302 - Seeds and seedlings policy
Project classifiers
TCP, Seeds, plant genetic resources
Summary text
Build capacity of the Government of Lebanon in the establishment of appropriate national seed policy, assist to review/upgrade/revise/develop appropriate seed regulatory framework designed to facilitate the growth of the seed sector and also ensure efficiency of the system for seed and seedlings production and quality control.
Full description

It is well known that Lebanon relies almost completely on imports to satisfy the market needs for planting seeds, especially for the vegetables sector ranking first in the total imported value, and that the main countries of origin of imports are those of the European Union.
Limited seed production exists for few local vegetable varieties, cereals and pulses and some multiplication of potatoes. It is estimated that the local varieties do not exceed 3% of the seed market.

The government embarked on reviewing/updating a number of existing policies, legislations to be in conformity with regional/international agreements to meet the commitments that the country has taken in this regard, in this context, it established a committee regrouping the private and public concerned stakeholders in order to organize the sector. These still a fragmented action that needs to integrate in a global planning of the sector.

However, the knowledge of seed agricultural sector is essential to design and organize coherent actions and monitor their implementation in order to maintain food security, manage and prevent pest dissemination, and allow the government to be reactive to the economy globalization requirements.
Plant breeding programs and seed regulations became strategic tools in providing an environment of support for the use of improved varieties. The new technologies that emerged during this time improved farmers’ yields and made seed producers more specialized. The result was an increase in seed value.

A big Number of markets have established different types of seed-related agreements, such as common seed certification standards, quarantine pest lists, and seed testing certificates.

Lebanese farmers currently face the double challenge of high production cost and the low product quality. Small farmers often lack proper information on new technologies and alternative practices to use in crop production and protection and on Good Agricultural Practices (IPM, Euro gap, etc.). Farmers still grow traditional and unsuitable varieties, and rely on inadequate agricultural practices (excessive use of inputs, inefficient irrigation practices) resulting in a low quality crops produced at high cost. This is exacerbated by the weak institutional, organizational and regulatory framework governing the nursery and seeds sector (weak inspection authority, insufficient agricultural support services including extension and advisory services, research, lack of adequate infrastructure etc.) in addition to the absence of national seed policy for organizing the sector.

In this context, the project will assist the MoA to implement national seed policy which shall guide the content, meaning and intent of all provisions of laws related to seeds and plant propagating materials, establishing a seed certification system.

Given the implementation of this regulation requires training, planning and commitments from the public and private sector in order to ensure the sustainable impact of the project, thus training programmes of big mass of concerned actors (Research centers, MoA staff, farmers, nurseries producers) on seed production and certification, field seed crop inspection and planting materials inspection in addition to capacity building of concerned laboratories in seed testing will be provided by the project.

Project outputs/results/impact

The immediate objective of this project is to build capacity of the Government of Lebanon in the establishment of appropriate national seed policy, assist to review/upgrade/revise/develop appropriate seed regulatory framework designed to facilitate the growth of the seed sector and also ensure efficiency of the system for seed and seedlings production and quality control.

Project outputs will focus on four outcomes. These outcomes and their outputs are detailed below:

1 Outcome : A National Seed Policy Forum organized for stakeholders of the seed sector with the aim of reviewing how to improve prevailing seed/seedling production arrangements and propose an appropriate coordination mechanism, which ensure even development of all elements of the certification process.
Output 1.1. A draft National Seed Policy document produced highlighting institutional and coordination mechanism required to facilitate effectiveness of the seed sector.
Output 1.2. Seed budget and production plan established in line with demands.
Output 1.3. Clear delineation of responsibilities for the activities of the present seed sector proposed to ascertain equal participation of all stakeholders from both public and private sector; and also ensure the drafting of appropriate legislation to facilitate their respective functions.
Output 1.4. A database for monitoring germplasm and seed inventory along the production lines established.

2 Outcome : A dichotomous Seeds certification system is established for both true seed and planting materials production and labelling.

Output 2.1. A seed certification sub-committee of the National Seed Committee (NSC) or National Seed Board (NSB) established with members dedicated to the certification of true botanical seed and vegetative planting materials
Output 2.2. National varietal catalogues developed for both true seed and vegetative planting materials
Output 2.3. Draft technical standards for both true seed and vegetative planting materials developed.

3 Outcome : Existing laws and regulations related to seed certification and seed marketing reviewed and pertinent recommendations made for filling any missing gaps.

Output 3.1. National legislation on seed and seed certification revised, in line with the objectives of the National Seed Policy
Output 3.2. National legislation on Plant breeders’ rights revised and commented, in line with the National Seed Policy
Output 3.3. Government decision number 49/1 concerning the group constitution of the private and public sectors stakeholders examined to ensure maximum synergy for effective seed production and supply.

4 Outcome: Capacity building in relation to basic infrastructure for seed certification and human resources requirement accomplished.

Capacity building efforts will comprise both development of infrastructure/facility for technical work and transfer of pertinent knowledge to those who would use the facility as detailed below.
4.1    Training of critical mass of staff

The actual total numbers of people to be trained will depend on number of people available amongst those earlier trained overseas, including at CIHEAM in Italy on topics related to the project.
Output 4.1.1. A critical mass of trained personnel developed for key activities of the seed production – namely a) Pre-Basic to Basic seed levels; and b) Certified seed level
Output 4.1.2. 20 people trained in technical aspects of field seed crop inspection.
Output 4.1.3. 20 seed testing officers trained in laboratory procedures for determining physical, physiological, seed-health seed conditions of seed.
Output 4.1.4. 20 staff trained in the area of seed/planting materials marketing.
Output 4.1.5.  20 people trained in seed/planting materials inspection.
Output 4.1.6. Organize a workshop for all stakeholders including private nurseries in pertinent areas of expertise in which members are lacking.

Project duration
Jan 2011 - Jun 2012
Project budget
249 000 USD
Geografic reference