Workshop on strengthening community based seed systems begins at NARC



Islamabad:    (Parliament Times)     Regional partnership to strengthen community based seed systems in South Asia is being organized from 5-7 November, 2019 at NARC Islamabad with the main purpose to discuss for strengthening Community based Seed System in South Asia.

The Program has been jointly organized by SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC), Dhaka, Asian Farmers Association (AFA) and PARC, Islamabad. This program has three type of papers, presentation: i) National Focal Points Experts will give presentation on “Strengthen Community Based Seed Systems for Improving Food and Nutrition Security in the Country”; ii) Invited experts will present papers on thematic areas and iii) Farmer’s leaders will give presentation on the best practices of Community Based Seed System (CBSS). It is a high level seed forum for policy guiding to community seed systems and easy access to improved seeds to the small holder farmers. CBSS is an informal arrangement wherein members of farming community or a group follows a collective system of producing, exchanging and selling good quality seeds especially in times of disaster

Addressing to the inaugural Ceremony, Mr. Rudra Bahadur Shrestha, Sr. Program Specialist, SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC), Dhaka said that the Community Seed Banks give farmers access and control over seeds and strengthen local seed supply systems. With CBSS farmers are able to raise their productivity, thus reducing their hunger months, enhance their cropping system resilience and ultimately increase their income from the sale of seed so it should be noted that main purpose of CBSS is to enhance seed security.

Dr. Muhammad Ali, Director General, National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) in his address expressed that in order to facilitate country-led growth, there is a need to expand this research and extend activities for strengthening informal seed systems into other communities and countries. This scaleup is critical to enhancing food security, preserving biodiversity, and facilitating the sustainable development of these rural agro-ecosystems. Dr. Ali further added that there is a need to expand research on informal seed systems, however, goes beyond concerns about informal and formal seed system linkages, to bigger debates about the contribution of informal seed systems to local, regional, and global food security. DG, NARC also briefed about Gene Bank to the participants of the program which is a sole national genebank of Pakistan for conversation of plant genetic resources established in NIGAB, NARC. Dr. Umer Farooq, Member (Social Sciences) PARC also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the importance of the event.