South African National Seed Organisation
Any dynamic industry sector should be represented by a body that could act as mouthpiece in its interest. Such a body then serves as liaison mechanism with state authorities and all other interested parties, as well as platform for internal liaison among members of the relevant industry. SANSOR is such a body and represents the South African seed industry as an association of all interested role players.
The development of the seed industry in South Africa dates back to the 1940’s when the first grouping occurred in the form of the South African Seedsmen’s Association. Seed quality control was formalized during the 1950’s with the establishment of the first company laboratories for seed testing. The introduction of seed legislation to South Africa and subsequent reorganization during the 1960’s led to the establishment of the South African Plant Breeders’ Association, South African Hybrid Maize Organization, South African Vegetable Growers Association and South African Forage Crop Seed Association. Negotiations among the respective crop-specific seed associations started during the 1970’s, which eventually led to establishment of an umbrella organization, i.e. ANSO (Association of National Seed Organizations). Privatisation during this time further led to the establishment of the Association of South African Seed Analysts (ASASA).
The rationalization of seed certification was one of the South African National Seed Organization’s most important factors, which led to the establishment of SANSOR in 1989 in which almost all noteworthy role players in the seed industry were gradually incorporated.
Political transformation in South Africa since 1990 was an important factor in further restructuring of the seed industry. This restructuring was particularly the result of deregulation of agricultural marketing, with the subsequent declaration of small grain crops as seed in terms of the Plant Improvement Act (Act No. 53 of 1976) and the introduction of small grain seed certification schemes.