Seed programmes and projects in ACP countries
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CTA. 1992. Seed programmes and projects in ACP countries. Spore 39. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45753
A directory of seed programmes and projects in ACP countries, compiled by G E Delhove
Agricultural research and genetic manipulation can produce varieties of food, fodder and industrial crops for both local consumption and marketing which are adapted to different farming and production systems. Although such research programmes are no novelty, numerous studies (such as Seed programmes for ACP countries by Van Amstel and Van Gastel, produced on behalf of CTA in 1985) point to the fact that ACP farmers still do not take advantage of the plant varieties which would have the best potential for their particular circumstances. Difficulties arise in most ACP countries because some links in the seed chain (that is, the whole process from production, through quality control, seed technology, training of seed technicians and extension, to marketing and distribution) are missing. Although many agricultural sectors are adopting the new technologies fast, the whole area of seed production and distribution is still very backward, especially in the use of improved varieties. In view of the growing consumer demand for quality agricultural products, this is something of a paradox. The explanation for this probably lies in the extreme complexity of setting up and maintaining a seed distribution system. Nevertheless, several ACP countries have been experimenting at different levels and with varying success with these complexities and have been able to set up good, or at least workable, seed distribution networks. During a CTA seminar in Cameroon in 1985 many ACP states wanted further information on existing operations. CTA made a commitment to gather the relevant data. The result is A directory of seed programmes and projects in ACP countries, compiled by G E Delhove, a consultant and former principal officer in FAO's seeds division. CTA now seeks to establish a mechanism for the exchange of information and cooperation in the seed production sector among the ACP States themselves, and between ACP States and the European Community.