Agriculture Minister Hon. Michael Katambo discusses cassava with Zambian Breweries director of corporate affairs Ezekiel Sekele. Picture by Alex Mukuka.

Government has launched the Southern African Development Community (SADC) seed certification and harmonized seed regulation system.

Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo says the launch signifies that Zambia has capacity to produce seed that can be traded across the SADC region.

Mr. Katambo says the launch is in line with the national agriculture policy whose overall agenda is to increase access to quality seed that assures increased production and productivity.

Mr. Katambo said this in a speech read on his behalf by Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa at Seed Co Zambia Business Park in Lusaka West.

And speaking at the same function United States Agency for International Development (USAID) representative for the Seed Trade Project Takele Tassew says SeedCo Zambia will for the first-time plant and harvest three seed varieties under the SADC harmonized seed regulation system.

Meanwhile SADC Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Resources senior crops officer Esaiah Tjelele said Zambia is leading the region in terms of domesticating the harmonized seed regulation system.

Mr. Tjelele said SADC member states will depend on Zambia to learn how they can upscale their activities in variety registration, certification and quarantine and phytosanitary issues.

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