At 5 April the initiative to develop an Access to Seeds Index was introduced at the FAO headquarters in Rome. The meeting was an initiative of Gerda Verburg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands at the UN organizations in Rome. National representatives from among others Germany, France, Switzerland, Cuba, Costa Rica, Spain, Ghana, Canada attended the meeting and had a fruitful discussion on the initiative. Several countries offered their support for further exploration of the feasibility and design of the Index.
Questions were raised on the interaction between the global seed sector and informal local seed systems the Access to Seeds Index seeks to encourage. Also delegates were interested to learn more on the possible contribution of leading seed companies to the development or upgrading of subsistence farmers. These questions will be addressed in the stakeholder dialogue scheduled for this fall.
In the afternoon a closed session on the Access to Seeds Index was organized to discuss the concept and hypotheses for the Index in more detail with seed and agriculture experts of FAO an other food-related international organizations based in Rome.