Sri Lanka based seed bank under SAARC common standard

Nov 18, 2011 (LBO) – A seed bank to be set up in Sri Lanka will operate under common standards to be developed by countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC). Information minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the cabinet of ministers had given approval for the seed bank to be established in Sri Lanka.

A note to cabinet said the SAARC standing committee, a key policy body of the regional group had set the basic objectives for the seed bank at an April 2010 meeting in Thimpu, Bhutan.

South Asian states will also develop a common minimum quality seed standard (CMSD) and a seed testing procedure which will lead of a common seed certification system and seed standard among SAARC member states.

The bank will act as a ‘regional seed security reserve’ for member states and will support ‘national seed security’ efforts to address seed shortages and foster inter-country partnerships.

The member states are expected to agree on a common varieties of priority crops while recognizing the need to preserve indigenous varieties.