What is the World Seed Partnership?

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Organizations collaborate to help countries develop new seed system frameworks.

As developing countries look to build a local seed system and for countries looking to modernize existing seed systems, the process can be convoluted and the challenges numerous. That’s not to say it’s not worth taking on; it is, and that’s exactly why four international organizations have come together to form the World Seed Partnership.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and the International Seed Federation (ISF) partner to support the development of the seed sector in countries around the world.

Specifically, through the World Seed Partnership, the organization’s aim to provide guidance on the development of an appropriate and effective seed regulatory framework, based on four primary elements. Each organization is responsible for one of the primary elements. These elements are:

1. Establish and implement an effective system of plant variety protection (UPOV).

2. Enhance seed quality assurance for better on-field performance through improved seed sampling, seed testing and storage capabilities (ISTA).

3. Develop a reliable and internationally acceptable seed varietal certification system for seed movement nationally and internationally (OECD).

4. Facilitate growth of the local seed industry to ensure farmers’ access to improved varieties and seeds (ISF).

Through this partnership, the organization’s hope to help countries develop cohesive frameworks that encourage the development of new varieties and the production of and delivery of high quality seed that meets the needs of farmers.

“It’s a unique initiative because it’s the first time that the big international organizations are working together to make sure that the different schemes and regulations in relation to seeds can work together and be implemented in different countries or regions to benefit farmers and those involved in the seed industry,” says Ben Rivoire, UPOV technical and regional officer. “It’s all about getting farmers access to new and improved varieties and high quality seeds for the benefit of their production.”

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