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  4. INTRODUCTION • Plant improvement has been practiced for thousands of years. Many of the well known agricultural crops originated from domesticated varieties taken from the wild to produce food. • Plant improvement is an important element of agricultural production, involving the development of improved varieties by means of breeding or selection. • Growing populations, climate change and disease pressure are important drivers to develop improved varieties. • Propagation material is the foundation of agricultural production and the quality thereof impacts significantly on the food security of the country. Propagation material refers to any reproductive or vegetative material that may be used for producing other plants of the same variety, e.g. seed, bulbs, cuttings, tubers. • Legislation regulating propagation material contributes to order in the agricultural production sector, trust in the national systems, leading to international trade and establishment of markets and ultimately to food and job security. 4

  5. OBJECTIVES OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL The purpose of plant improvement legislation is to regulate the quality of plants and propagation material intended for cultivation and sale by means of: Registration of types of business and premises involved in cultivation and sale of plants and propagation material. National listing of plant varieties (registration of varieties). Conditions of sale, physical quality standards and labelling requirements for plants and propagation material. Import and export control of plants and propagation material. Improvement schemes. Only agronomy, vegetable and fruit crops are regulated. Scope may be extended to cover other crops or just certain aspects of such crops.

  6. SCHEMATIC OVERVIEW OF SCOPE OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL Registration of varieties: varietal listing (DUS) Propagation material of plant varieties of agronomy, vegetable, fruit crops Export Import Certification schemes Foreign markets Business Seed seller, Seed cleaner, Nursery, Test laboratory Quality Control label information seed quality visual plant health (D=distinctness; U=uniformity; S=stability)

  7. REGISTRATION OF VARIETIES – APPLICATIONS From abroad: new or existing varieties Local: new or existing varieties Import Assess application: declaration, variety denomination, fees accepted rejected Application for varietal listing Evaluation centre notified to perform DUS trials Applicant notified 7 (D=distinctness; U=uniformity; S=stability)

  8. REGISTRATION OF VARIETIES – EXAMINATIONS Evaluation centre performs DUS trials DUS results report submitted to Registrar Compliance: approval Non-compliance: rejection Variety denomination entered in Varietal List Applicant notified (D=distinctness; U=uniformity; S=stability) 8

  9. INTERNATIONAL LINKAGE International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) membership Provides standardised seed testing methods for germination and purity. Quality management standards applied for registration test laboratories. Allows RSA to issue Orange International Certificates (OICs) for seed produced locally – some countries only accept imported seed with OIC. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) South African Seed Certification Scheme is OECD compliant. South African certified seed is accepted and recognised internationally. OECD Seed Schemes forms general framework for plant certification schemes. International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) National listing. Requirements for Distinctness, Uniformity, Stability, variety denomination, test guidelines for examination.

  10. DEVELOPMENT OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL • took into account: • the principal legislation: The Plant Improvement Act, 1976 (Act 53). • experiences/ constraints in the implementation of the Act. • other relevant national legislation, policies, strategies and programmes. • recognized: • the importance of quality propagating material to support sustainable agricultural production. • the important role quality standards for plants and seed as well as standards for types of business dealing with plants and seed towards food security. • the important contribution of the seed trade to the economy (e.g. global markets require adherence to internationally accepted quality standards for plants and seeds). • the importance of promoting wider participation in the seed sector (other types of businesses, community seed production, etc.).

  11. DEVELOPMENT OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL • Consultation processes: • Initial drafting phase: consultation with key stakeholders. • Published in the Government Gazette for public comments: April 2013. • National workshops with key stakeholders: November 2010 and May 2013. • Affected government departments – Science and Technology, Trade and Industry, Environmental Affairs : March 2013. • National House of Traditional Leaders: April 2013. • Provinces: February 2014. • The inputs were incorporated and draft Bill was finalised. • Pre-certification • The State Law Advisors had made comments on the Bill which were also dealt with: consultations in 2012, 2013 and 2014. • No conflicts with Constitution and other government legislation. • The final Bill has been certified by the State Law Advisors.

  12. The current Act dates from 1976 and does not cater for recent developments Penalties, policing and enforcement of the Act are not effective Emerging problems threatening the sustainability of the seed industry Examples include: farm saved seed or seed retention Difficulty in facilitating the participation of small-holder farmers in current certification schemes. Structure of the current Act is too cumbersome and thus difficult to read. MAJOR SHORTCOMINGS IN CURRENT LEGISLATION 12

  13. OVERVIEW OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL Section 1: Definitions (interpretation of terminology) Chapter 1 Application of the Bill Section 2 - types of crops covered, how to extend to more crops Bill only applicable on crops as declared, Minister may extend upon application Chapter 2 Registrar and Administration Sections 3-8: designation and functions of Registrar, discretionary powers, registers, inspection (viewing) of documents

  14. OVERVIEW OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL (2) Chapter 3 Registration of Business and Premises Sections 9-21: types of business requiring registration, application and registration procedure, requirements, termination Chapter 4 Conditions for sale Sections 22-23: requirements for plants and propagating material, exemptions for certain plants and propagating material; detail to be contained in Regulations. Chapter 5 National Varietal List Sections 24-26: content, maintenance and publication of list and removal of varieties

  15. OVERVIEW OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL (3) Chapter 6 Application for National Listing Sections 27-32: varieties eligible for listing, procedure for application, documentation and objection Chapter 7 Variety Denominations Sections 33-34: requirements for denominations, related to Chapter 6 Chapter 8 Evaluation for Distinctness, Uniformity, Stability (DUS) Sections 35-37: requirements for testing and decision making, related to Chapter 6 Chapter 9 Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) Section 38: optional evaluation for value and use

  16. OVERVIEW OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL (4) Chapter 10 Hearing of Objections Section 39: procedure for hearings by Registrar Chapter 11 National Varietal List Journal Section 40: journal and its content, related to Chapters 6 and 8 Chapter 12 Inspections Sections 41-42: procedures for inspections and inspection on grounds of warrant Chapter 13 Import and Export of Plants and Propagating Material Sections 43-44: requirements and procedures

  17. OVERVIEW OF PLANT IMPROVEMENT BILL (5) Chapter 14 Schemes Sections 45-46: types of schemes and procedures to establish Chapter 15 Appeals Section 47: procedure for appeals against decisions by Registrar or authority of a scheme Chapter 16 Advisory Committee Sections 48-51: purpose, composition and procedures Chapter 17 General Provisions Sections 52-63: request for tests by other authorities, disclosure of information, regulations, offences and penalties, evidence, liability, delegations and repeal of laws

  18. IMPLEMENTATION • National Authority to perform tests for variety listing is in place, includes two evaluation farms situated at Roodeplaat and Stellenbosch. • The Official Seed Testing Station which is internationally accredited by the International Seed Testing Association is also in place at Roodeplaat. • Amendment of Regulations to give effect to the provisions (starting 2015/16) • The appointment of an Advisory Body will follow the process of calling for nominations and appointment by the Minister. • The systems for registration of premises is in place. • National inspection services are also in place for enforcement purposes.

  19. Thank you