COMESA has launched a regional seed variety catalogue aimed at helping farmers’ access to improved and different types of seeds from Member States through simplified customs procedures. This is expected to help the region increase its food production and reduce levels of poverty.

Acting Secretary General, Ambassador Kipyego Cheluget described the seed variety catalogue as necessary in addressing the many challenges that the seed industry is facing in the region. The challenges include small and fragmented national seed markets, different and inconsistent national seed laws, varying phyto-sanitary and quarantine measures for seed imports and exports and the lack of human, institutional and seed infrastructure to facilitate improved seed production and distribution

The COMESA seed variety catalogue has been produced with support from the United States International Development Agency (USAID) for an amount of $ 90,000 and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the operationalization of the catalogue with a grant of £ 1,200,000 through ACTESA’s Seed Trade Harmonisation and Regulations Project.

The launch was attended by Mr Marc Van Uytvanck, Team Leader for the DFID funded programme FoodTrade Eastern and Southern Africa and by seed producers and suppliers from the private sector.

For more on the launch please check out the COMESA News Letter