The SADC Seed Centre provides numerous services in support of seed stakeholders:


SADC Seed Variety Catalogue: Developed and maintains the SADC Seed Variety Catalogue, which is a list of varieties that have met certain criteria and have been approved for release and marketing to any one of the 16 Member States.  Seed companies can apply to have their seed varieties listed on the regional catalogue, and once approved, can market and sell that seed variety in the region.   If a seed variety is NOT approved, it will be entered in the SADC Seed Variety Database with information about the reasons for rejection. The Catalogue includes varieties of crops for which DUS and VCU data, as required under the Regional Release System, are available. For each variety, the information in the Catalogue includes:

  • Botanical and common name of the species;
  • Name of the variety and any synonyms;
  • Indication of agro-ecological conditions for which the variety is suitable;
  • Name and address of the holder of the variety or the Variety Holder’s agent;
  • Date of entry of the variety in the catalogue;
  • Name and address of the NSA that received the application; and
  • Information about where the reference sample is being stored and managed.

SADC Seed Variety Database:
Developed and maintains a SADC Seed Variety Database that includes all varieties in the region, i.e., varieties submitted for regional release, both accepted and rejected, varieties released at the national level and which have not been submitted for regional release, as well as landraces. The SADC Variety Database covers all varieties for which data are available and is accessible to all Member States.


Records Maintenance: Maintains records for field inspectors, seed samplers, seed testing laboratories and others who have been designated by their Member States to operate under the SADC HSRS.

Technical Backstopping: Assists with monitoring and technical backstopping and any technical problems arising from the Seed Certification and Quality Assurance System.  The Centre also provides suggestions and guidelines for improvements to the System, and formulates training requirements, and supports capacity-building and training at the national level.

SADC Seed Labels and Certificates:  Responsible for issuing approvals for SADC seed labels and certificates once a seed consignment is inspected and approved.  Any seed-bearing the SADC seed labels and certificates have undergone rigorous inspection and testing, and can move quickly and seamlessly across national borders.  Recipient counties and farmers can be assured they are purchasing high-quality seed.


Develop, Document and Introduce: The Centre facilitates the development of common and more efficient Quarantine and Phytosanitary Measures for Seed, including technical reviews and consultations for better standards and procedures, review of new initiatives to ensure they are in line with regional and international agreements, and document current phytosanitary measures and their impacts on interregional seeds exchange and on exchange of seeds between SADC and countries beyond the region.

Technical Support and Training: The Centre deploys technical committees and/or specialists to assist with specific issues; and supports the capacity-building and training at the national level.

Policy Support: Designs and supports efforts that secure political support to rationalize and harmonize regulations, and maintains databases to record current national regulations and key documents, issuance of permits and the seed quantities involved, critical issues, and disputes.

Get Involved

SADC Member States can align their national seed policies with the SADC HSRS.

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Seed producers can register improved seed varieties through a streamlined application process.

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Need market information? Discover which nations will have seed surpluses and deficits this season.

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