b'SURVIVING at the EDGE of EUROPETHE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PORTUGUESE SEED SECTOR.BY: SILVIA BENQUERENAI n the Portuguese seed business, there is a huge diversity of crops,of seed production. We have great expectations that this measure will with the main crops being forages and temporary grasses, grainhelp to increase the area of seed multiplication in Portugal.cereals and vegetables. The country has 4M ha of utilized agri-cultural area, representing 43% of its territory. According to theCHALLENGES IN THE PORTUGUESE SEED SECTORlast census in 2019, the percentage of land used for agriculturalThe Portuguese seed sector is facing a few challenges. It is important purposes has increased 8,1% in the last decade. 52% of the utilizedto note that the weather conditions in Portugal are quite favour-agricultural area is occupied with permanent grassland. Permanentable for the development of pests and diseases. While that can be crops like olive and vine are also important to Portugals agricul- overcome with the use of treated seed, thereby avoiding or reducing ture sector. Approximately 1M ha of arable land is used for tempo- crop spraying, there is a lack of active substances that are suitable for rary crops including temporary grasses and grazing, fodder cropsseed treatment, in particular fungicides but also insecticides. The and vegetables. The value of the seed market in Portugal (withoutloss of these kind of substances in the last few years has brought potato) is estimated at around 80M Euros. serious challenges, not only for the Portuguese seed sector but also for farmers in general, with significant yield losses.CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PORTUGUESE On a broad level, with important European legislative propos-SEED SECTOR als on the table, Portugal needs to approve new legislation that is Portugal has very good weather conditions for seed multiplication;benefiting its seed sector in the areas of:however, due to technical restrictions and disinvestment in agri- 1. Production and marketing of plant reproductive material culture, it is a sector that has had no growth over the last couple ofin the Union,years. Climate change has caused great challenges that have been2. Plants obtained by certain new genomic techniques, andincreasingly difficult to overcome due to the lack of crop protection3. Packaging.products and varieties. At the national level, in order to ensure that the entire seed cer-In the scope of the present framework for farm production sub- tification process is efficient, Portugal needs to increase the number sidies, there is now a national measure to encourage farmers to opt forof tasks that can be undertaken by the private sector under official seed multiplication, which pays an amount of 125 Euros per hectaresupervision.The NGT Congress held in January 2023. Source: ANSEME.10ISEED WORLD EUROPEISEEDWORLD.COM/EUROPE'