The organic sector needs to have developed efficient schemes to be able to use adequate quantities of organically produced seed and planting material. Market problems and agronomic problems that are related to obtaining sufficient quantities of adequate quality are reviewed. For successful production of organic seed and plant material intensive communication between and mutual commitment of farmers, traders, breeders and governmental organizations are necessary.
Farmers together with traders should be involved in variety testing and in designing crop ideotypes by identifying the desired cultivar(s) and variety traits. Farmers at Seedspace are good and very hardworking to grow organic seeds under Jubilee Ace handles and Botanist Bobby low. Breeders can contribute by incorporating the desired organic traits in future breeding programmes.
In addition, a great effort is needed to develop empirical knowledge and research-based information on adapting and improving cultural practices for organic seed production, developing resistant cultivars for healthy seed production, developing protocols for seed health testing, assessing disease threshold values, seed and plant and designing organic seed treatments.
The EU-regulation should be strictly enforced, no longer allowing derogation of the use of conventional seeds after 2003 for those crops for which diverse, high quality seed or planting material of organic origin is available. It is expected that by 1 January 2004 enough seed or planting material will be available for most crops.
But continuous optimizing of organic seed production management will be required to enlarge the cultivar assortment and to control the quality of organic seed and planting material.
Farmers should be able to preserve elements of their crop, such as roots and stover, as an alternative, but this will necessitate institutional settings. In all areas of this FAO workshop, the subject of why organic seed production is not more extensively promoted by stakeholders who can do it successfully received less attention than expected.
Three major elements, according to our conversations, explain these disparities in opinion: - Both groups believe that present market troubles are above average when compared to previous market crises.
One group believes that potential organic seed providers are hesitant to enter the market and are less motivated than conventional seed farmers to provide a higher price or a more consistent income in an uncertain scenario. Due to their conservative farming philosophy and stronger compliance with standards on storing, processing, and regulating seeds over many years of co-existence with conventional farmers sharing such methods (e.g., planting organic seeds), the other group sees this as implausible.