Crop Biotech Update

Network of Seed Testing Labs in Africa

April 29, 2011

The African Union and the African Seed Network with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have established the Forum for Africa Seed Testing (FAST). The network of seed testing laboratories aims to speed up the harmonization of a continent-wide seed market in traditional and non-traditional crops.

"The problem of poor seed quality has plagued African agriculture for years and has, in part, contributed to the failure of the green revolution in Africa," said Robert G. Guei, Senior Officer with FAO's Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department. If we could harmonize seed quality testing methods for these tropical crops then we would be doing a great deal to enhance and support the continent's native seed trade."

FAST was established in Bamako, Mali at a meeting of African seed experts organized by FAO in March 2011.

The FAO press release is available at http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/68390/icode/