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Market opportunities and technical challenges for organic seed producers

Jun 5, 2023

In order to reach the goal of a third of agricultural land organic by 2030, the production of organic seed must be massively increased. This increase faces a number of challenges. To find out exactly what these challenges are and what opportunities and solutions there might be, FiBL Switzerland and IPS Konzalting organized an online workshop with various stakeholders at the end of February 2023.

More than 60  participants involved in the organic seed sector from several European countries joined the plenary sessions and discussions to talk about technical, economic, and regulatory aspects and challenges regarding the upscaling of the production of organic seeds in Europe.

Among the participants were seed-planting material suppliers, representatives of national authorities and NGOs, policy makers, and more.

During the discussion sessions, participants were asked what challenges they face when producing organic seeds, and what would be needed to upscale the current production. The answers suggested that many of the current problems fall into one of the following categories: the difficulty of pest and disease control, low demand for organic seeds, mainly due to the derogation to use non-treated conventional seeds, insufficient technical knowledge (e.g., for seed treatment), inconsistent legislation, and higher costs of organic seed production

In a next step, focus groups with different stakeholders will be established to develop strategies to address these challenges. In addition, newly developed tools and techniques will be tested in collaboration with interested companies.

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