FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Georgia develops production and certification of seeds

A new laboratory in the village of Tsilkani in Georgia has been furnished with all the equipment needed to conduct seed quality control – thanks to an FAO project financed by Austria.

Operated by the Scientific Research Centre of Georgia’s Ministry of Agriculture with, the new lab is equipped with seed samplers, microscope, germination cabinet, safety cabinet and other tools for testing seeds to ensure they meet international standards.

An international consultant with FAO conducted training on the specialized equipment for lab employees. Twelve staff members received training in seed sampling, purity testing, evaluation of seedlings in accordance with international seed testing rules, and other skills.

The newly equipped lab and trained staff move Georgia closer to having a fully effective seed certification system – essential for seed production and the longer-term goal of higher agricultural productivity.

Also important is a legislative foundation. FAO has provided support in this area, too, with legal experts contributing to the drafting of a new Law on Seeds that will be presented to the national Parliament of Georgia for approval later this year.

“This laboratory with its new equipment is one of the most important components for building a seed certification system as well as conducting the high-level scientific research,” said Nodar Khatiashvili, head of the Scientific Research Centre’s Division of Standardization and Certification for Planting and Seedling Materials. “This is the path to reach our ultimate goal – to produce and use high-quality seed materials.’’
To raise awareness about field inspection and seed production development among farmers and seed producers, FAO produced a booklet for wide dissemination among people active in the seed sector.

“The main objective of FAO’s technical assistance is to support the sustainable development of seed production by promoting a seed certification system in Georgia,” said FAO Assistant Representative in Georgia Mamuka Meskhi. “Applying high-quality certified seed will result in increased productivity, contribute to improved livelihoods for farmers, and promote the export potential of the country.”

The project, funded by Austrian Development Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture of Austria, has been operational since late 2013 and is set to conclude in 2016.

1 June 2016, Tbilisi, Georgia