SAP was established in 2010 as the sole legal representative of Pakistani seed industry under the Trade Organizations Act. It is licensed by the Directorate General of Trade Organisations (DGTO) under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan and also registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). It coordinates with the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR) which governs the seed laws and regulates the seed companies. SAP is also a permanent member of the National Seed Council (NSC) and Varietal Evaluation Committee (VEC) under the Seed Act. It has 200 member companies which own nearly 80% share of the Pakistani seed market, which is currently valued at $300 million. The private seed companies produce more than 90% of the cotton and wheat and over 80% of rice seed in Pakistan and their share is rapidly increasing in local production of maize as well. The Association played a major role in the approval of the recently passed Seed (Amendment) Act 2015 and the Plant Breeders' Rights Act 2016, thus earning a formal legal recognition of the Private Seed Sector and a legal framework for the protection of plant varieties respectively.
SAP is a member of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and major international seed associations including International Seed Federation (ISF), the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA) and ECOSA, which is the seed association of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), a 10 member Asian political and economic intergovernmental organization, similar to the EU and ASEAN. It was founded by Pakistan and Turkey and includes countries of the Central Asia.
SAP currently has five technical committees: a) Cotton & Wheat Committee , b) Rice (Hybrid & OP) Committee, c) Hybrid Maize & Other Hybrids Committee, d) Vegetable Seeds Committee and e) Oilseeds & Other Crops Committee.
Main objectives of the Association include promoting the agricultural and socio-economic interests of its members, increase farmer awareness and create a sustainable and mutually beneficial public-private partnership. It also focuses on the promotion of seed quality and continuous development of seed varieties, strong scientific capabilities and breeding programs. It also provides a forum for exchange of information and advisory for its members. It strives to create a dynamic, innovative and internationally competitive research-based industry producing high performance, high quality seeds and encourages establishment of state-of-the-art labs, research and training facilities and investments in R&D. It also plays a vital role in deliberating on policy matters including negotiations with Government and its departments / institutions on issues concerning the seed sector and contributes towards the national goals of increasing food grain and commodity production.
Recent activities of SAP include participation in the Punjab Agri. Expo 2019, 5th CAC (China Agro Chemical) Pakistan Summit and an Innovation Agri. Program. It also organized consultative sessions with the Govt. of Pakistan on cotton and local seed production of potato, arranged a seminar on rice scope and opportunities as well as a traveling seminar during Maize National Uniform Yield Trials.
The Association's Strategic Plan includes increase in local production of rice Hybrids for exports, local production and R&D on vegetable hybrids and OP varieties and host international seed industry events in Pakistan. It aspires to hold at least one Technical Committee Meeting of APSA in 2020.
The above information is based on a presentation given during APSA's annual National Seed Associations meeting, held on 27 November, 2019. For the latest information about SAP, visit their website directly.