Seed quality assurance in SNNPR: Establishing the Agricultural Inputs Quality Control & Quarantine Authority

Seed quality is the most significant part for production and productivity. In SNNPR, the issue of maintaining seed quality had been one of serious issues from time to time that grabbed the attention of seed sector stakeholders. Since the past eight years different approaches and interventions have been made by the regional stakeholders to alleviate this challenge.

In 2012, the ISSD program in collaboration with regional partners had initiated the establishment of independent seed quality control and certification system in the region.  Finally, the regional government had accepted the innovative idea initiated by the ISSDE program and in 2013 the SNNPR Agricultural Inputs Quality Control and Quarantine Authority was officially established in accordance with the regulation number 111/2006 E.C, as enacted by the regional state council and begun its operation. Currently, the authority has been striving to deliver the seed quality control and service throughout the region.

The organizational set up of the Authority

According to the regional regulation number 111/2006 E.C to enact to establish the SNNPR Agricultural Inputs Quality Control and Quarantine Authority, the Authority is accountable to the SNNPR bureau of agriculture and natural resources. The purpose of establishing the authority is to establish quality and standardized quality assurance and quarantine system so as to improving agricultural production and productivity and ensuring accelerated and sustainable agricultural growth in the region.

According to this regulation the Authority has given a diverse mandates which enables to perform its purpose. The budget source for the authority could be the allocation from the regional government, from the collection of service fees and from grants.

At the moment, the authority has a total three seed laboratories, 14 seed inspectors, seven technicians, and eight vehicles to do seed field inspection and quality assurance. The authority provides such services like registration and licensing of seed producers (both public and private) operating in the region; seed field inspection, seed sampling and testing, seed certification and labeling as well as offering training for seed producers to help implemtation of internal quality control.

The record of the authority shows there are 72 seed producers in the region, which includes public, private, cooperative unions and local seed business (i.e. seed producer cooperatives).

In order to give effective services for all these seed producers, the authority is planning to strengthen its capacity development in terms of technical, infrastructure, logistics and finance.