Looking beyond national boundaries: regional harmonization of seed policies, laws and regulations

Rohrbach, D D and Minde, I J and Howard, J (2003) Looking beyond national boundaries: regional harmonization of seed policies, laws and regulations. Food Policy, 28 (4). pp. 317-333.

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Countries in West, Eastern and Southern Africa are pursuing the regional harmonization of their seed laws and regulations. Common regulatory frameworks are expected to reduce the costs of trading seed and encourage scale economies in seed production. As a result, commercial seed production is expected to expand, providing farmers with improved access to new varieties and stimulating productivity growth. The impact of these harmonization efforts will depend on the details of the regulatory agreements. Policy-makers are being asked to consider a complicated series of trade-offs between stricter measures for quality control and the need to encourage the multiplication and distribution of lower-cost seed. They are also being confronted with two possible views of sectoral development. One view entails the pursuit of better linkages between distinct national seed markets. The second involves the development of truly regionalized seed markets, where seed can be readily produced in one country and sold in any other country. This implies greater regional interdependence of seed supply. The paper compares the harmonization agreements being pursued in each of the three African regions and progress in implementing the accords. Efforts to adapt international seed market standards to the contingencies of African markets are discussed and priorities for further policy analysis are identified.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Library ICRISAT
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2011 06:26
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2011 06:26
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/1369
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2003.08.005
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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