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Production of organic seed for the organic sector - OF0154

Regulation of organic farming in Europe requires that organic crops should be grown only from organic seed by the year 2000, although the likelihood of this being achieved is low. Problems such as controlling fungal diseases, and ensuring seed vigour and longevity need to be addressed. The aim of this study will be to find and disseminate information on sources of organic seed, identify and evaluate problems which require further research, and stimulate production of organic seed in organic agriculture. The study will be composed of 6 specific objectives outlined as follows together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Assessment of the current and potential availability of organic seed in the UK, elsewhere in Europe and further afield, including consideration of possible quarantine problems, and the health and quality of seed from different sources; 2. Development of a forecast of demand for organic seed in the UK over the next 5-10 years based on a European survey, modelling data and UK producer requirements. An outline forecast for the EU as a whole should also be produced; 3. Identification of obstacles that need to be overcome with respect to potential seed shortages and whether they can be dealt with through UK or European cooperation. Much of the information will be gained from consultations with research organisations involved in seed research and from appropriate literature surveys; 4. Highlighting of problems that need further research, with emphasis on seed production methods, seed quality, seed treatment for disease and pest control, carryover of unwanted seeds, and seed longevity and maintenance of stocks; 5. Production of a report covering the availability of organically produced crop seed for commercial organic use, including details of species and varieties where further work is needed, and recommendations for action in those cases. A list of seed companies and their organic seed products, both in the UK and throughout the EU, will also be included; and 6. Organisation of a meeting involving all those with an interest, including seed producers and growers, and EU representatives. For objectives 1-4, information will be obtained through structured interviews and focus groups involving research institutions, producer organisations and companies. This will be integrated closely with the newly established task force on organic seeds and will allow development of an information network and a computer database. Results will be used primarily to inform UK organic farmers, but will also be made available to European partners on an exchange basis.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Production of organic seed for the organic sector   (632k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1999

To: 2000

Cost: £20,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Elm Farm Research Centre
Organic Farming              
Plant Varieties and Seeds              
Fields of Study
Organic Farming