This publication presents the proceedings of the Regional Technical Meeting on Seed Policy and Programmes in the Near East and North Africa, held in Larnaca, Cyprus from 27 June to 2 July 1999. The meeting was organised by the Agricultural Research Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus in collaboration with the Seed and Plant Genetic Resources Service of the FAO. In line with the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action, the meeting recognised that one of the major challenges facing most countries in the Near East and North Africa is the need to invest significant resources in strengthening their capacity to increase the availability of good quality seeds of a wider range of plant varieties. This will contribute to the maximisation of both agrobiodiversity and productivity, in order to achieve national food security while reducing environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources. The meeting proposed and agreed to establish a Regional Consultative Forum on Seed Policy and Programmes for the Near East and Africa (CFS-NENA).
The forum will facilitate intercountry scientific and technical co-operation on seed production and supply, and promote crop genetic resources evaluation, conservation and utilisation in the region.