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article imageImproved Seeds for Central Asia Soon Available

By Bob Ewing     Jul 30, 2008 in Food
Improved seeds suited to local conditions will soon be available to millions of farmers in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
The newly-established Regional Seed Association, based in Ankara, will soon make improved seeds suited to local conditions available to millions of farmers in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
The new Association brings private and public-sector producers together and covers the 10-nation Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) region of Central Asia, a market of 350 million people. Realizing the area’s great potential for agricultural development – only half of cultivable land is at present farmed –could help take the pressure off soaring food prices.
Seed Associations, now cover all the world’s major regions and collaborates with the International Seed Federation, which represents the global seed industry. The Seed Association's purpose is to help make seeds and plant genetic resources suited to local needs available to the greatest possible number of farmers.
The Associations promote technology transfer from more- to less-developed regions and provide a forum for regular consultations on seeds and plant genetic resources while also contributing to fair and equitable regulation of seed trade.
The FAO and ICARDA – the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas Establishment of the ECO Seed Association earlier this month facilitated the Association.
Promoting collaboration between the public and private seed sectors improves seed availability, and ultimately food security.
The ECO member countries are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
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