Africa Seed Trade Association (AFTSA) congress

Africa Seed Trade Association (AFTSA) congress

3 – 5 March 2015. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Africa Seed Trade Association (AFTSA) congress. The conference covered areas like seed legislation, seed certification, variety release, plant property rights, biosafety, seed production, crop protection, seed marketing, packaging, labelling, harmonisation and institutional arrangements

Several representatives from the regional and international organisations attended the congress including the International Seed Federation, Asia Pacific Seed Association, the International Seed Testing Association, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Union for the Protection of New Plant Variety, Food and Agriculture Organisation, Common Market for East and Southern Africa, West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development and United States Agency for International Development.

See: Congress Programme

Background: 
The African Seed Trade Association vice president 

Mr Denias Zaranyika (left)

AFSTA was created out of the need to have a regional representative body for the seed industry, which also serves to promote the development of private seed enterprises. This was also borne out of the realisation that quality seed is the most important agricultural input without which use of fertiliser, irrigation, crop-chemicals or improved management practices were unlikely to produce the crop yield increase needed to enhance food security in Africa.

AFSTA aims to promote trade in quality seeds, strengthen communication between the African seed sector with the rest of the world, interacting with regional governments and non-governmental organisations involved in seed activities in order to promote the interests of the private seed industry and facilitate establishment of national seed trade associations in Africa. This is the first time that Zimbabwe has hosted the regional function which brings together stakeholders in the seed industry in Africa, with over 500 delegates expected to attend the congress. Next year the congress will be hosted by Kenya.

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