Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

FANRPAN participate in International Rules for Seed Testing Amendments workshop
12 December 2011

The workshop, hosted by the Official Seed Testing laboratory under the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) from 01- 02 November 2011.

The workshop focused on the amendments of the ISTA rules for Seed Testing handbook for 2012 and evaluated the extent of standardization in the seed testing methods. ISTA is an international association whose main aim is to develop, adapt and publish standard procedures for sampling and testing of seed.

The workshop was attended by seed experts from 16 seed testing laboratories in South Africa and 8 Seed Analysts from Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, who are partners in the FANRPAN HaSSP project.

The purpose of the workshop was to train seed analysts from the various seed testing laboratories to understand the new amendments of the ISTA rules for seed testing handbook for 2012. ISTA as international association has a mandate to review and amend the rules for seed testing hand book annually and the amendments are conducted on a chapter-by-chapter basis. There are committees which amendments each chapter.

The following chapters have been amended with effect from January 2012: chapter 2 - sampling in the laboratory, chapter 3 - purity analysis including the stabilized plant names, chapter 4 - the determination of other seed by number, chapter 5 - germination test, chapter 6 - the determination of biochemical test for viability, chapter 9 - the determination of moisture content, chapter 10 - the weight determination test, chapter 11- the testing of coated seed, and chapter 13 - the testing seed by weight replicate test. There is also an inclusion of incoming rule amendments for chapter 18 - testing of seed mixtures where a seed lot contains more than one species.

Furthermore, the Seed Analysts were trained on evaluation of maize with coleoptile defects. Analysts also participated in the evaluation of primary and secondary roots and rounding results in the germination tests according to the ISTA rounding calculator. It was noted that there is some standardization among the laboratories.


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