NARC organizes 3-day workshop on community-based seed system

ISLAMABAD: The National Agriculture Research Center in collaboration with SAARC Agriculture Center and Asian Farmers Association (AFA) organized a 3-day workshop to strengthen community-based seed systems for improving food and nutrition security in the country.

The workshop was held at the National Agriculture Research Center (NARC), aiming at to discuss the ways and means for strengthening community based seed system in South Asia to ensure food safety and security, said a press release issued by Pakistan Agriculture Research Council on Tuesday.

During the workshop, three type of papers were presented including national focal points experts gave presentation on strengthen community-based seed systems for Improving food and nutrition security in the country. The experts presented papers on thematic areas and farmer’s leaders gave presentation on the best practices of community based seed system.

It was a high level seed forum for policy guiding to community seed systems and easy access to improved seeds to the small farmers. It was 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, Rudra Bahadur Shrestha, Senior Programme Specialist, SAARC Agriculture Center, Dhaka said that the Community Seed Banks give farmers access and control over seeds and strengthen local seed supply systems.

With CBSS farmers were 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 was to enhance seed security.

Dr Muhammad Ali, Director General, National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) speaking on the occasion expressed that in order to facilitate country-led growth, there was a need to expand this research and extend activities for strengthening informal seed systems into other communities and countries.

This scale up was critical to enhancing food security, preserving biodiversity and facilitating the sustainable development of these rural agro-ecosystems, he added. Dr Ali further said that there was 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 programme which was a sole national gene bank of Pakistan for conversation of plant genetic resources established in NIGAB, NARC.—APP

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