EUROPEAN-SEED.COM I EUROPEAN SEED I 37 NATIONAL EUROPEAN RICE PRODUCERS WELCOME COLLEGE OF COMMISSIONERS’ DECISION TO APPLY A SAFEGUARD CLAUSE TO RICE IMPORTS FROM CAMBODIA AND MYANMAR O n 16 Ja nu a r y, t he Col lege of Commissioners sent a positive signal to all European rice producers: it intends to reintroduce tariffs on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar for the next three years. This decision puts an end to a situation that has become untenable for European rice producers following the implementation of the Everything but Arms (EBA) initiative in 2001. Pek ka Pesonen, Copa-Cogeca Secretary General, said: “Rice is deeply rooted in European culture and is grown in eight EU countries. We will continue to defend our traditions and heritage by boosting the number of promotional cam- paigns on EU rice and by reiterating our call for mandatory origin labelling of rice at EU level.” INTERNATIONAL MUCH-ANTICIPATED SOYBEAN SEED ENLIST NOT AVAILABLE YET A new type of soybean seed that allows farmers to spray more herbicides on their fields was cleared for import by the Chinese government last month with great fanfare. However, the seed’s sale will likely be held up past spring planting because of a pending approval from the Filipino government. Enlist E3 — featuring a genetically modified set of traits that makes crops resistant to three key herbicides — was developed by DowDuPont spinoff Corteva Agriscience and will allow farmers to mix a more potent cocktail of chemicals to spray on their fields. REGULATORY KEEPING YOU INFORMED OF LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY CHANGES IN EUROPE AND ABROAD — FROM LAWSUITS TO APPROVALS TO OTHER REGULATORY ISSUES AFFECTING YOUR BUSINESS. POLICY EXPERTS CALL FOR HARMONISATION OF REGIONAL SEED REGULATIONS Access to improved quality seed varieties within the Eastern and Southern Africa region still remains low at 23 per cent, according to agriculture policy, trade, and technology transfer experts. This, they say, is among the most key contributory factors to the low productiv- ity, especially of cereal crops like maize, sorghum and pearl millet, despite coun- tries in the region having a large share of arable land. The experts who sought to identify bottlenecks in the implementation of harmo- nised seed regulations in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, as well as develop an action plan towards eliminating these chal- lenges, noted that the continent’s seed sector meets only about 20 per cent of the demand. This, leading to importation of seed varieties from abroad, despite the potential to produce more seed locally. Consequences of this have been the continent’s share of seed production for the global market, which is valued at about Sh5.12 trillion, dipping to less than 1 per cent.