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ESAS Priorities for Reforming The Seed Legislative And Regulatory Environment in Egypt

1 - Review the seed law already submitted to the people's Assembly. The law must clearly state - the governmental liberalization policies and market regulations to encourage private participation in the seed sector (comments are welcomed from members and interested parties. Contact ESAS for a copy of the draft law).

2 - Ensure ESAS Board and ESAS Councils' representation with the national seed council and committees, at the behest of ESAS .

3 - Endeavor to create a joint committee for regulating seed affairs within the authority of the seed council. The proposed committee will have the responsibility of reviewing the regulations before their being enacted and enforced. The private sector's representation in this committee should not less than 50 % of its total membership. Nomination to membership must be made by ESAS itself. The remaining members will be nominated by the competent government authorities.

4 - Cooperate with the Government (GOE) in liberalizing & privatizing seed production and distribution. ESAS will recommend the divestiture of public agencies from the production and distribution functions of hybrid maize as of the crop year 1999. A time frame has to be drawn-up for a phase-wise divestiture of the state-owned enterprises from seed production and distribution of the major self-pollinated crops.

5 - Facilitate access by the qualified seed producers to the new varieties developed by the public research system (especially the ARC) through a highly transparent and competitive system. A one variety / one company system need to be installed so as to ensure equitable distribution among the competing parties.

6 - Efficiency and fairness require that testing and registration of plant varieties be autonomous from the centers that develops those varieties. The system has to meet the internationally - accepted criteria and protocols.

7 - Create and implement an efficient and transparent system for variety testing and registration.

8 - Reform the process of registration of horticultural varieties, confining it only to the domestically - developed varieties and abrogating it for the varieties already registered and protected under international laws.

9 - Simplify licensing producers for seed importation, efficiently develop import applications and review and rationalize phytosanitary requirements for seed imports.

10 - Develop and implement a regulatory frame-work for seedling production and marketing to ensure horticultural growers’ access to high-quality, disease-free and accurately-defined varieties.

11 - Simplify control measures that may stand as barriers to domestic trade and remove double collection of certification fees so as to increase market competition and encourage private investment in the formal seed market.

12 - Promote agricultural extension that shows no bias to the publicly produced varieties. Extension must focus on increasing farmers’ awareness of the importance of high-quality seed and should, in no way, partake in seed marketing. To perform this more legitimate role, more coordination is needed with ESAS, CASC and the Center Administration for Agricultural Extension.

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