O\ The Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) is a pilot project in four countries (Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). One of the activities under HaSSP is the alignment of National Policies to SADC Protocol in these four countries. In Swaziland, issues pertaining to variety release and seed certification are taken care of by the “Seeds and Plant Varieties Act, 2000” and subsequently the “Seeds and Plant Varieties Regulations, 2002”. Those of phytosanitary are at the moment
OUTPUTS OF A SEED PRODUCTION SCHEME in the “Plant Control Act, 1981”. This Act is under review and there is new one, “The Plant Health Protection Bill” which takes care of the harmonisation process. Though the Bill is still not an Act, Regulations will soon be crafted to speed up the process. A National Task Team comprising of different specialists was set up solely for aligning these pieces of Legislation to SADC Protocol.
Citation and commencement: (1) This Notice may be cited as the Seeds and Plant Varieties (Amendment) Regulations, 2012. (2) This Notice shall come into force on the date of publication in the gazette. Regulation 2: Interpretation Regulation 2 is amended by adding in alphabetical order the following: “DUS” means distinctness, uniformity and stability; “UPOV” means International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties; “VCU” means value for cultivation and use
“DARSS” means the Department of Agricultural Research and Specialists Services. Regulation 6: Certification of seed : Regulation 6 is amended - in sub regulation (2) by deleting the words “six (6)” and replacing it with the words “five (5)” – seed classes by adding sub – regulation (5) as follows, “(5) Breeders shall maintain the standards of cultivars approved under sub-regulation (3)” - Only cultivars which have been approved by the Registrar of Seeds shall be eligible for certification.
By inserting regulation 6bis, 6ter, 6quat, 6quin, 6sext, 6oct and 6nov as follows – Testing for Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS): “6bis (1) The registrar shall before allowing for a release ensure that the application meets the following conditions – (a) the application for a release shall be accompanied by a variety descriptor to verify distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS); (b) the DUS testing shall be done for one season in accordance with guidelines approved by UPOV. (2) The variety release committee may, whenever necessary, adopt from the SADC guidelines for DUS testing.
Testing for Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) 6ter (1) A person applying for a variety to be included in the national variety list shall ensure that the application is accompanied by VCU data. (2) The VCU data referred to in sub regulation (1) shall – (a) have information derived from field experiments conducted over at least two seasons and in different agro – ecological zones of Swaziland for national release; and (b) be subject to tests for performance and adaptability during two years in the agro – ecological zone for which it was developed.
(3) A variety which has been released in two other countries, may be tested for one season and shall be accompanied by a statement specifying which growing conditions the variety is considered to be adapted. (4) The VCU testing may be done by the department of Agricultural Research and Specialists Services (DARSS) or the applicant under the supervision of the (DARSS) or by any competent agricultural institution. Crop-specific requirements 6quat (1) The Variety Release Committee may adopt the SADC crop-specific requirements for VCU data. (2) The requirements shall specify –
(a) the locations and management of trials so that they are representative of relevant growing environments in the country; (b) variety characteristics (yield and other traits) to be assessed and reported including the format of presentation; and (c) minimum performance in VCU.” Period of validity of a variety in the national list 6quin (1) A variety shall remain in the national list for a period of twenty years. (2) Applications for renewal for a further period shall be submitted not later than one year before expiry of twenty years referred to in sub regulation (1). (3) The owner of a variety shall pay an annual subscription for the variety to remain in the list.
Cancellation of a variety from the national variety list 6sext (1) The Registrar may cancel a variety from the national variety list if – (a) any information submitted with an application for registration was incorrect and the application would not have been processed if the Registrar had known that the information was incorrect; (b) information has come to light which, if discovered earlier, would have resulted in the refusal of such application; (c) applicable fees are not paid in time;
(d) a seed of such a variety capable of reproducing the variety in such a manner that the characteristics thereof correspond to the original cannot readily be obtained; (e) the variety no longer conforms to the DUS requirements; (f) the maintainer of the variety cannot provide a reference sample when requested by the Registrar of seeds; and (g) the 20-year period expires without an application submitted for renewal as required in regulation 6quin (2). (2) The maintainer or applicant of the variety or a NSA may request the withdrawal of a variety based on one or more of the reasons stipulated above.
Storage of reference seed sample 6oct The Seed Quality Control Services (SQCS) shall be responsible for the safe storage of a reference sample of a candidate variety. Application for regional release 6nov (1) The Registrar of Seeds shall receive and process applications for release in the SADC region and the inclusion of the release in the catalogue. (2) An application for a variety to be included in the SADC variety list shall be accompanied with all relevant information. (3)The applicant shall specify if any information given is regarded as confidential and the breeder shall clearly mark it as such. (4) The committee shall ensure that the marked information is treated as confidential information.
Amendment of regulation 9: Seed Certification regulation 9 is amended by deleting sub regulation 3 and renumbering the regulation accordingly “For the purpose of certification, an inspector shall conduct at least three field inspections per crop. Additionally, for hybrids, at least three inspections shall be conducted during pollination”. Amendment of regulation 12 regulation 12 is amended in sub regulation 1 by inserting the words “by authorized seed inspectors” in between the words “conducted and in”. “The sampling of seed lots shall be conducted by authorized seed inspectors in accordance with current I.S.T.A. Rules”.
Amendment of regulation 15 regulation 15 is amended – (i) in sub regulation (2) by deleting it and replacing it with a new sub regulation (2) as follows – The seed class; Certification number; Name of species and variety; Kind of variety (open – pollinated/cross/inbred line; Lot and certificate number; Date of testing; Purity (% by weight);
Germination capacity (% by number);and Warning text in case the seed lot is treated. (ii) in sub regulation (5) by deleting the word “cultivar” and replacing it with the word “variety”. Amendment of the first schedule : Prescribed seeds The first schedule is amended by – inserting the words “Pearl millet”....Pennisetum glaucum L” below the word “maize” inserting the words “Rice”............Oryza sativa L” below the word “sorghum” inserting the words “Pigeon pea”.....Cajanus cajan L” below the word “cowpea”
inserting the words “Soybean”.........Glycine max L. Merrill” below the word “sunflower” Amendment of third schedule The third schedule is amended by deleting it and replacing it with a new third schedule as follows –
O\ SEED CERTIFICATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE SYSTEM: SEED CLASSES Seed ClassCodeProduced fromLabel colours Pre-basic seed ABreeder’s seed Violet band on white Basic seed B Pre basic or breeders seed White Certified seed (1 st generation) C1 Basic or higher seed classes Blue Certified seed (2 nd generation) C2 C1 or higher classes of seed Red Quality declared seed QDSComplies with special requirements green
Amendment of the fourth schedule: Standards for Swaziland Certified Seed. The fourth schedule is amended by deleting it and replacing it with a new fourth schedule as follows – A. Field Inspection Standards
Botanical Name Common Name Minimum isolation distance (m) Maximum percentage of off-types (based on 1000 plants) Minimum number of inspections BS (B)CS (C)BS (B)CS (C)BS (B)CS (C) Arachishypogaea L.Groundnut1050.2 33 Cajanuscajan L.Pigeon pea4002000.10.333 Glycine max L. MerillSoybean1050.20.533 Gossypiumhirsutum L.Cotton (H)5004000.20.333 Gossypiumhirsutum L.Cotton (OP)100 0.20.333 Helianthus annuus L.Sunflower (OP)10008000.20.533 Helianthus annuus L.Sunflower (H)300015000.20.555 Nicotianatabacum L.Tobacco8004000.20.533 Oryzasativa L.Rice550.20.333 Pennisetumglaucum L.Pearl millet4002000.5 33 Phaseolus vulgaris L.Beans1050.10.233 Sorghum bicolor L. MoenchSorghum (OP)4003500.20.543 Sorghum bicolor L. MoenchSorghum (H)7505000.20.555 Triticumaestivum L. emend.Fiori et Paol. Wheat1050.10.333 Vignaunguiculata L. WalpersCowpea1050.20.533 Zea mays L.Maize (OP)4002000.51.043 Zea mays L.Maize (H)4003500.10.355
O\ Amendment of Schedule 6: Prescribed Fees Schedule 6 is amended by deleting it and replacing it with a new schedule 6 as follows – Variety evaluation and release.....E600.00 Seed grower registration.............E100.00 Certification (per hectare): (a) potato..........................................E50.00 (b) hybrid crops.................................E30.00 (c) legumes........................................E20.00 (d) quality declared seed.....................E7.00 (e) other crops...................................E20.00 (f) late registration........25% more on original fee
O\ Amendment of Form 12B – Permit for introduction of plants and plant products Form 12 b is amended by deleting it. Amendment of form 13: Application for variety release. Form 13 is amended by deleting it and replacing it with a new form 13 (SADC Variety Release Form)
A new Bill, “Plant Health Protection Bill” has been crafted. The Bill will be sent to Cabinet for approval. To make good use of time, Regulations for this Bill will be crafted as soon as possible.
PROCESS/STEPS TOWARDS COMPLETION OF THE SEED LAWS
O\ Variety Release and Seed Certification: present first draft to stakeholders for their inputs; present draft Amendments to Cabinet; present draft Amendments to the Agriculture Portfolio Committee; table draft to parliament; and publish Regulations. Phytosanitary Measures for Seed (Bill) present draft Bill to Cabinet; present draft Bill to the Agriculture Portfolio Committee; publish Bill; and table Bill in Parliament.
O\ Phytosanitary Measures for Seed (Regulations) prepare first draft of the regulations; present draft to stakeholders for their inputs; and present Draft to the Agriculture Portfolio Committee.
O\ Dissolution of parliament – this will force the task team to sick to the work plan no matter the circumstances National events towards the end of the year – this will slow down progress in aligning the legislations.