2024 Mekong - U.S. Partnership Regional Workshop 15 - 19 July 2024 / Hanoi, Vietnam

Sustainable seed systems and trade through science-based policy on plant breeding innovations, intellectual property and promoting public-private partnerships to support food security in the Lower Mekong countries

This hybrid workshop will focus on enhancing food security through the development of the seed sector, with emphasis on Plant Variety Protection (PVP), intellectual property rights, plant breeding innovation, and seed movement. Key participants (onsite) are government officials from the Lower Mekong Countries and representatives from the private sector. For online participation, we welcome relevant government officials, APSA Committee members including chairs and co-chairs, seed associations, partner organizations and universities (requires pre-registration).

Over five days, participants will engage in discussions, keynote speeches, and interactive sessions led by experts from various fields, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance (APSA), International Seed Federation (ISF), International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), and national agricultural departments from the Mekong region. The workshop will also feature knowledge building on the UPOV convention, mechanisms of intellectual property protection, the role of genome editing in crop improvement, and phytosanitary matters.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network and share their experiences in shaping policy in their country. Representatives from each participating government will be expected to share updates on progress made in their countries and current top priorities for future intervention. The event will conclude with a field visit to the Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (NOMAFSI) to showcase the success made in agriculture in Vietnam.

Day-by-day highlights: CLICK HERE to view official agenda
Day 1: Opening Ceremony (morning); PVP as a tool to enhance research and development for food security (afternoon)
Day 2: Mechanisms of Intellectual Property protection in seeds
Day 3: Plant breeding innovation and its role in improving food security in the region
Day 4: Ensuring Seed Movement across borders for breeding research
Day 5: Laboratory/field visit to NOMAFSI

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in English, Khmer, Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese. 

Background of the project:
This activity is a component of the Seed Trade Capacity Building Project in the Lower Mekong Region funded under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership (MUSP), formerly known as Lower Mekong Initiative. The target countries are countries under Mekong US partnership program i.e. Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Following the successful first Mekong regional workshop on seeds on 25 – 29 November 2019, subsequent workshops were organized in 2021, 2022 and more recently in October 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand.  In continuation of the earlier themes and in line with recommendations from countries during the October 2023 workshop, the program developed for 2024 consists of capacity building and policy dialogue on intellectual property rights protection for new plant varieties, plant breeding innovations, and seed movement and trade. These topics are directly related to food security and must be supported by a clear understanding of the policy framework and enhanced public awareness. It is also an opportunity to bring all stakeholders together with the participation of global subject matter experts.