Feedback: Community seed program
I read with interest your article on community seed, which I think will do more good to the farmers but what sort of mechanism will regulate such scheme? James Gomna, Bokoro, Bauchi state We got the response below from a seed researcher, Akotunola Ben.
The seed council is expected to create and maintain an efficient market structure that addresses marketing of planting materials such as: tree cash crops (cocoa, oil-palm, cashew, coffee etc.) fibre crops (cotton, jute, etc) cereals and legumes (‘groundnut’, rice, maize, sorghum, millet, wheat etc)
Community Seed Project/ Producer should be brought under effective coordination and regulation to prevent anybody or group of people from undue exploitation of rural community through selfassertion and rule of jungle in the name of community seeds;
In this regard, a database should be first generated through survey; followed by 2-3 interactive sessions to chart suitable strategies that will enhance performance, coordination and quality assurance of the material output;
Community Seed producer shall first register with Corporate Affairs Commission and be licensed by National Agricultural Seeds Council;
License shall be renewed every three years (as the program is to large extent not for profit maximization; also it involves several people, making decision-taking more difficult);
Sixty-six percent of the seed produced shall be taken up by the members and onethird remaining may be sold to non-members within the community;
Seed Council shall apply conventional ranking to community seed licensing based on infrastructure, capital base and technical personnel respectively;
No seed produced in one State shall be sold in another except for fungibility among groups;
No Community Seed producer shall be allowed to import seeds to meet community demand;
No Community Seed Producer shall enter into seed supply contract that exceeds twenty-five percent of total annual production;
Field certification fee and other charges shall be put at twenty-five percent of the conventional rate.