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FANRPAN's First Harmonized Seed Security Project (HaSSP) Variety Release Sub-Committee Meeting
14 July 2011 - 15 July 2011


FANRPAN Secretariat, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), convened the First HaSSP Variety Release Sub-Committee meeting at the Bronte Hotel in Harare on 14-15 July 2011.This meeting focused on the SADC Variety Release System whose purpose is to make it easier and cheaper for new and existing seed varieties to become accessible to SADC countries. This in turn will stimulate availability of more varieties, encourage more companies to invest in seed business in SADC countries, and thus increase the choices available to farmers.


Participants at the First Seed Variety Release Sub-Committee, Harare, Zimbabwe

The purpose of the meeting was to establish the Variety Release Sub-committee and initiate seed variety release policy analysis, review and amendment in the four pilot countries, so as to align national legislation and practice to the SADC protocol. The meeting also developed the ToRs and action plan of the Variety Release Sub-Committee.

The meeting was officially opened by Mr Dumisani Kutshwayo, the Acting Deputy Director of Crop Research in the Department of Research and Specialist Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Mechanisation in Zimbabwe. The meeting brought together national seed authorities, variety release experts as well as seed industry representatives from Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Variety release experts from CIMMYT, ICRISATand FAO also participated in addition to FANRPAN’s node hosting institution in Zimbabwe, the Agricultural Research Council.Activities during the meeting included a visit to examine wheat research plots at Rattray Arnold Research Station and a tour of Seed Services Institute.

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