The government is establishing a department under the Agriculture Ministry which will be responsible for improving the quality of seeds and distributing them more efficiently to farmers.
A sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen published on Tuesday said the Department of Seed will be responsible for organising policies, strategies, budget planning and developing projects to improve the quality of agricultural seeds.
The sub-decree added that the department is also responsible for the management, training, dissemination of information on standards and quality control of all seeds as well as monitoring and evaluating the quality of seeds at all production facilities and laboratories in collaboration with relevant units. It is also tasked with certifying seed quality.
“The department also has to conduct inspections on the seed business at warehouses and markets, monitor the use of seeds in the field, organise procedures and create a national seed list,” the sub-decree said. “In addition, the department is also responsible for providing information on activities and services to customers as well as establishing a management system database to certify the quality of all seeds and provide information relating to seeds to stakeholders.”
Srey Vuthy, an Agriculture Ministry spokesman, yesterday said that the establishment of the department would help in managing seeds more effectively in accordance with the Law on Seed Management and Plant Breeder’s Rights.
He noted that this will especially help farmers to have quality seeds which increase the yield of crops.
“Improving the quality and managing seed distribution needs to be done through scientific research and better organisation to ensure they benefit growers,” Mr Vuthy said. “If we do not manage it properly, it will not provide good yields and result in a loss of income for growers.”
He noted that the ministry is in the process of selecting a director, some deputy directors, and other staff to run the department which is expected to be officially launched early next year.
Nou Teng, 61, a farmer in Prey Veng province, yesterday said that he welcomes the government’s decision to establish the department to support better agricultural practices which help farmers obtain quality seeds to grow their crops.
“We usually select what seeds to use based on trial and error. If we see one of us getting a better yield, then we use seeds from that crop to grow on our land too,” he said