An organic sowing seed working group has been created
On 29 October the organic sowing seed working group was launched by the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi). The aim of the working group is to enhance the use of organic sowing seeds in Hungary and to take the first steps towards providing a proper variety assortment of organic sowing seeds for farmers.
The working group will help the sector prepare for phasing out untreated (free of any former chemical treatments) conventional, in other words not certified organic, sowing seeds from organic production.
This is an important issue for organic farming and providing accessibility to high quality certified organic sowing seeds, adapted especially to Hungarian production circumstances, is a major milestone for the development of the sector. The working group consists of breeding institutions, seed companies, inspection and certification organizations, the National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH) and the Ministry of Agriculture. They will discuss the following issues:
- Compiling a list of plant species and their varieties from which enough certified organic sowing seed is available from Hungary, which will remove the need to authorize the use of untreated conventional sowing seeds (Category I).
- Defining those plant species from which the assortment of organic sowing seeds is insufficient on the Hungarian market. This will allow general permissions (Category III) to be issued instead of the ad hoc authorization of untreated conventional seed use (Category II), which will help alleviate administrative burdens. The organic sowing seed database will also be optimised, and the demand for and supply of sowing seeds will be harmonised.
- Ensuring Hungary’s participation in the temporary experiment of the sowing seed production and marketing of organic heterogeneous materials (genetically diverse populations), which has been lengthened by the European Commission.
- Performing nationwide variety tests and compiling a list of varieties recommended for organic production.
The working group will meet in December, and we hope that like at the first discussion, further steps can be taken on this important issue through the active participation of the members.