The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Seed Schemes are an inter-governmental organisation that strives to promote international trade in seed through simplification and harmonisation of documents, inspection methods and testing procedures of seed.

It aims to promote the production and use of seed with ongoing high genetic quality of which the sources can be guaranteed.

In 2011 64 countries participated in one or more of the Schemes. These countries were from Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, New Zealand and Australia.  Membership is voluntary.

South Africa has been a participating country in the OECD Seed Schemes since 1961 and was accepted as a participating country in the Cereal Scheme as recently as 2010.

There are seven seed schemes relevant for agriculture and the number of member states participating in the respective schemes are indicated in the table below:

OECD SEED SCHEME

SA PARTICIPATION SINCE

PARTICIPATING STATES

Grasses and Legumes

1961

54

Brassicas, Oil and Fibre Crops

1961

53

Cereals (small grains)

2010

55

Maize and Sorghum

1995

45

Sugar beet

-

30

Vegetables

1975

32

Subterranean clovers & similar species

-

6

In 2011 South Africa issued OECD Certificates for seed lots totalling 2 394 189 kg of seed, most of which were exported.

Click here to download the OECD Seed Schemes, Variety List and Guidelines

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