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ISLAMABAD: The Central Seed Testing Laboratory of the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research has become the first laboratory in Pakistan to get the accredited status with Switzerland-based Inter­na­tional Seed Testing Association.

As an independent organisation supported by the non-profit cooperation of experienced seed scientists and analysts, ISTA is considered as an authority in seed science and technology, and it has been developing seed testing methods since 1924.

The federal seed testing laboratory and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations organised a training programme on ‘seed-sampling and seed-testing’ to meet the requirements of ISTA accreditation requirements.

The training enabled the CSTL in meeting the last and final requirements of accreditation.

At the closing ceremony here on Wednesday, FAO Representative Mina Dowlatchahi distributed certificates among the participating officials

Two international consultants, Dr Maria Duter Elena and Dr Sergio Pasquini trained the officials, covering areas of seed sampling, purity analysis and moisture testing in line with International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) guidelines, while reviewing the systems and procedures put in place.

Over the past two years, FAO has been actively supporting the federal seed certification and registration department under its technical cooperation programme of building capacity of the federal seed department to facilitate seed and plant supply industry regulation followed by the ongoing ‘improved capacity in use of plant genetic resources for varietal development and integration in the seed system’.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2019