APSA Virtual Technical Session 2021 - Standing Committee on Seed Technology 22 November 2021 / 15:00 – 17:00 hrs ICT (GMT+7)

Standing Committee on Seed Technology
Monday the 22nd of November 2021
15:00 – 17:00 hrs ICT (GMT+7)



15:00 - 15:10

Welcome and Report on APSA Seed Technology Activities in 2021
Mr. Johan van Asbrouck, Chair, APSA Standing Committee on Seed Technology

15.10 – 15.25

APSA Seed Academy Program Launching
Dr. Manish Patel, Co-Chair, APSA Standing Committee on Seed Technology

15.25 – 15.35

Q&A Session

15.35 – 16.05

APSA Seed Technology Champion Forum
Moderator: Dr. Sandeep Jadli, Committee Member, APSA Standing Committee on Seed Technology

  1. Seed Health Testing for Plant Virus Pathogens
  2. Unlocking the Powers of Seed Coating
  3. Physical and Physiological Seed Upgrading
16.05 - 16.10

Online Coffee Break

16.10 – 16.50

Roundtable Discussion on “What are the Roles of Seed Technologists to Ensure Sustainability in Agriculture?”
Moderator: Dr. Rob Pronk, Global Marketing Manager, INCOTEC Group BV and Co-chair of the ISF-Seed Applied Technology Committee


  1. Mr. Simon Watt, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Activate AG LABS
  2. Dr. Steven Groot, Senior Researcher, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands
  3. Prof. Kent Bradford, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, USA
16.50 – 17.00

Quiz Winner Announcement
Dr. Sandeep Jadli, Committee Member, APSA Standing Committee on Seed Technology

Closing Remarks
Prof. Uma Rani Sinniah, Committee Member, APSA Standing Committee on Seed Technology


Dr. Manish Patel
APSA Standing Committee on Seed Technology

Elected to the APSA Executive Committee in 2018, Dr. Patel holds a Ph.D and M.Sc in Plant Breeding & Genetics (Agriculture Science) from Gujarat Agriculture University. He has more than 20 years' experience in seed science and technology and has been a Governing Council board member of the National Seed Association of India for the last eight years. Since 2000 he has been Executive Director of Incotec India Pvt Ltd., and has previously served as an APSA EC member, and as an Office Bearer, Vice President and Co-chair for the Standing Committee on Seed Technology. He is one of the founding directors of Gujarat Seed Valley.

APSA Seed Technology Committee has reviewed the survey results sent to members in 2020 during the Seed Quality Management workshop and found that most responders suggested that APSA should provide more learning courses relating to seed quality improvement. APSA’s mission is to sustain the agriculture through the production and trade of quality seeds for the world. And one of the key priorities of APSA is knowledge transfer or capacity building for the public and private sectors on the production of quality seeds. Therefore, the committee has started to work on the Charter of the APSA Seed Academy Program and finally, the Charter or the concept of the program has been successfully approved and well supported by the APSA Executive Committee in June, 2021. The vision of the program is to be a regional training platform for certified seed technologists in Asia. The target groups for this program are mainly APSA members, government officials and students from Universities in APAC Region. The recommendation on this program can be proposed by the participants in this session. APSA seed technology committee will start to launch this program in 2022.

Dr. Sandeep Jadli
Committee Member
APSA Standing Committee on Seed Technology

Sandeep a doctorate in Seed Sci & Technology from GB Pant University & Technology, India is an Indian national working in Thailand with East-West Seed as a group manager for seed processing and Seed Technology. A well-versed seed expert having more than 15-year experience in Seed Operations, R&D and Supply chain functions in the seed industry. 



Dr. Rob Pronk
Global Marketing Manager, INCOTEC Group BV
Co-chair of the ISF-Seed Applied Technology Committee

Dr Rob Pronk is Global Marketing Manager for seed enhancement company Incotec in the Netherlands. Furthermore, he holds responsibility for Regulatory Affairs. He has a PhD in biochemistry and worked for 15 years in the medical department in the pharmaceutical industry before joining Incotec 12 years ago. Here he managed the analytical seed services department, and currently is responsible for further developing and optimizing Incotec’s seed treatment portfolio. Rob is member and co-chair of the ISF-Seed Applied Technology Committee for the past 4 years.


Prof. Kent Bradford
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Plant Sciences
UC Davis, USA

Kent J. Bradford is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Originally from Texas, he earned his B.S. in Biochemistry and M.S. in Horticulture from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian National University, he joined the faculty at UC Davis in 1982 and served as the Chair of the Department of Vegetable Crops from 1993 to 1998 and as Vice Chair for Teaching and Curriculum Development in the Department of Plant Sciences from 2006 to 2010. He founded the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center in 1999 and served as its director until 2019. He received a Fulbright Scholar award in 1999 to teach in Argentina and the Career Seed Science Award from the Crop Science Society of America in 2002. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2003, and received the faculty Award of Distinction from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis in 2007. He served as Interim Director of the UC Davis World Food Center in 2017-2018 and Associate Director in 2019-2020. He was advanced to Distinguished Professor at UC Davis in 2013 and retired as Emeritus in 2019. Dr. Bradford’s research interests span diverse areas of seed science from seed germination and conservation to mathematical modeling and molecular biology. He has published more than 190 peer-reviewed research and extension articles and book chapters, co-edited three books and co-authored a textbook on seed development, germination, dormancy and storage. His current interests are in the genetic and molecular mechanisms regulating seed dormancy and germination, in mathematical models to describe seed germination and dormancy behavior, and in seed and food drying and preservation methods, particularly for humid climates. As director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, he supported the creation and commercialization of new technologies to improve crop performance, quality and sustainability and the continuing education of plant breeders and seed industry professionals. He taught University and Extension courses on plant physiology, seed biology, biotechnology, ethics and philosophy of science.

Dr. Steven P.C. Groot
Senior Researcher 
Wageningen University & Research

Steven P.C. Groot is a biologist performing research and teaching on seeds for several years. His research is both fundamental and directed towards application and most often in collaboration with the seed industry. Over the years, his main fields of research were seed maturation, germination, priming and seeds for organic farming. More recently he focused on the role of oxygen in seed storage as a major factor in seed deterioration during storage. He has developed methods to improve seed shelf life by storage under controlled atmosphere and a dry experimental ageing system using elevated oxygen pressure. He started a new research line on exploitation of the seed microbiome to provide seeds and seedlings with improved stress tolerance. Steven is cofounder of the International Seed Academy to provide the seed industry with training modules on various aspects of seed biology and technology.

The seed industry can and should play an important role to increase sustainability in agriculture. Improving seed quality during harvest, but especially reducing losses due to deterioration during seed storage at the warehouse, shop and farmer can safe large amounts of energy and provides farmers with seeds that have a higher seed vigour. High seed vigour can, besides breeding, result in more root biomass, adding to more resilient crops and increasing soil carbon content and reducing other inputs for crop production. Plants have evolved with supporting micro-organisms, present in the soil, roots and shoots. Part of these is transferred to the next generation through the seeds and can aid the seedling in for instance nutrient acquisition, drought tolerance and resistance to pathogens. The seed microbiome should no longer be neglected, but used as a natural mechanism to provide farmers with seeds for more resilient crop production.

Mr. Simon Watt
Chief Technology & Innovation Officer
Activate AG LABS

Currently the Chief Technology & Innovation Officer for Activate Ag Labs, seed coating material specialists, offering services and partnerships. Simon has twenty years of experience in seed coatings, enhancement, and technologies, most of this from the research perspective. He started his career in the R&D Department at Germain’s Technology Group, predominantly covering the field of seed coating polymers, application of biologicals to seed, and development of industrial uses for seed treating equipment. He later moved to the Institute of Food Research developing multiple emulsions as part of a joint government and industry project. Finally, over a decade ago he moved from the UK to Australia to take up a research position at Centor Oceania where he progressed to the CEO role, before heading up Activate Ag Labs in his current position.