Asia Pacific's Thai Seed in Excellence Pachok Pongpanich and Petcharat Thammabenjapone named as 2022 APSA Awardees

BANGKOK, THAILAND: November 15, 2022: The Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance (APSA) and Thai Seed Trade Association (ThaSTA) have named Mr. Pachok Pongpanich (Pacific Seed, Thailand) and Associate Professor Dr. Petcharat Thammabenjapone (Khon Kaen University, Thailand) as this year’s APSA awardees.


From left: APSA founding member and CEO of Chia Tai, Dr. Manas Chiavaranond, Dr. Petcharat Thammabenjapone, Mr. Pachok Pongpanich and Mr Wichai Laocharoenpornkul.


The two awardees were formerly commended on November 15 during the Inaugural Ceremony of the 2022 Asian Seed Congress in Bangkok Thailand. 

Every year the Asian Seed Congress National Organizing Committee (NOC) nominates two recipients – one from the private sector, and another from the public sector – who have made a significant impact on the seed industry in the ASC host country. 

Private Sector Awardee: Pachok Pongpanich 

Mr. Pongpanich was chosen from the private sector as his colleagues acknowledged his major contributions in both the business and research aspects, as well as his leadership efforts that helped steer the Thai seed industry to where it is now. 

A seasoned agriculturist who also specializes in corn breeding, Mr. Pongpanich has been a well-known business leader as he led Pacific Seeds Thailand to be among the major companies not only in the country but also in the region since he started his professional work there in 1983. He went up the ranks to become the Regional Business Growth Lead (ASEAN and Northeast Asia) of Pacific Seeds. His vast knowledge of plant breeding and his comprehensive seed business acumen has made him a highly recognizable name in the Thai seed industry, thus bringing his colleagues to elect him as President of THASTA from 2008-2012. His leadership term as President – up to the present where he still serves as Advisor and Executive Committee member of the Association – has made it possible to continue to work on his vision to see Thailand at the forefront of the international seed trade and bring the quality produce of Thai farmers to the world. 

“I want to believe that Thailand has already possessed a high standard in seed production and trade. We must leverage this standard and be seed-solution providers at an international level. This will ensure that our farmers will be able to access high-quality seeds for high productivity and profitability in a sustainable manner,” Mr. Pongpanich said. 

Aside from remaining as an Advisor to Pacific Seeds and THASTA, he continues to contribute his expertise in the seed industry as a Research Evaluator of the Plant Breeding Project of Biotech-National Science and Technology Development Agency, where he also previously held a seat as an Executive Committee member. 

Mr. Pongpanich, who had also served as the Vice President of the Plant Breeding and Multiplication Association of Thailand, holds a Master’s Degree in Agriculture-Plant Breeding from Kasetsart University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Agronomy from Chiangmai University.   

Public Sector Awardee: Dr. Petcharat Thammabenjapone

Dr. Petcharat has impacted the seed industry in Thailand in many positive ways. As a professor at Khon Kaen University, she has influenced many students to further pursue the area of Plant Pathology. Many of her former students can be seen employed throughout the seed companies producing seed in Thailand. She has also developed a training program for growers and seed companies called “plant doctor” focusing on seed production of vegetable crops especially Cucurbits and Solanaceous families in Thailand. One of the top priority activities works is with Bacterial Fruit Blotch (BFB) disease, the goal behind the program was to educate people to understand more about BFB symptoms in melon and watermelon crop. 

Over the years, very few BFB detections have been attributed to field detections in the crop, but it was being detected in seed by international companies.  A training like this was to hopefully increase people’s awareness of the various kinds of symptoms as well as the epidemiology of bacterial fruit blotch in Thailand. The training has helped people learn to manage the risk of BFB and secure production in trying to locate areas in Thailand free from BFB disease or what factors can mitigate its presence. She has also supported the Thai NPPO by inspecting seed production fields in Northeast Thailand. Her lab also supported plant diagnostics as well as developing and implementing newer methods of detection. 
She has been a great resource of information regarding diseases in Thailand. Her efforts are recognized in her work to minimize the incidence and impact of bacterial fruit blotch over the years, which remains a critical pathogen impacting growers globally.”

Asian Seed sat down with the two awardees and asked them about their experiences, inspirations, motivation and wisdom for the future. The interview is featured in the current issue of Asian Seed & Planting Material (Volume 28, No. 4) which will published online at the end of November.