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Harmonization of seed management legislation in the SADC region


LEGN led the assessment of the legal frameworks of eight countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in collaboration with the FAO Subregional office for Southern Africa.  The laws of Comoros, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe were assessed against the SADC’s Harmonized Seed Regulatory System (HSRS), which was formulated to facilitate free trade and movement of seeds between borders within the region. In essence, it seeks to harmonize technical rules and procedures on (a) seed variety release; (b) seed certification and quality and assurance and; (c) quarantine and phytosanitary measures.

The assessment revealed that although none of the eight countries had attained a full level of harmonization with the HSRS, they are all making efforts towards institutionalizing the HSRS standards, rules and procedures by reforming their respective seed and plant protection legislation/regulations. It was also seen that levels of harmonization varied based on the specific technical area concerned.

The outcome of the assessment will be used to target the capacity building requirements in terms of legislative reform to enhance trade and access in quality and safe seeds within the SADC region.