This page features a compilation and selection of China seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the People’s Republic of China.
The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.
This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent news listed first.
Inner Mongolia wheat varieties: Aug 21: New varieties of wheat are springing new life into the fertile fields of Inner Mongolia. "Nongmai 2", for example, is one new high-yielding, high-quality, strong-gluten spring wheat variety that promises a bumper harvest as it is shown to have stress and disease resistance, as well as good processing quality. Detailing traits and observations of this and other new varieties trialled, an article also highlights that in recent years, wheat planting area in Inner Mongolia has been around 8 million mu, accounting for about 40% of China’s spring wheat planting area. Original article here.
Seed Law Amendment submitted: Aug 20: Seed Law Amendment submitted: Aug 20: A draft amendment to China’s Seed Law that aims to strengthen the scope of Intellectual Property Rights protection was submitted at the 30th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing on August 17. Aside from extending the scope of IPR protection to include all aspects of seed production -- from breeding to sales and storage -- the amendment also includes a provision to recognize Essentially Derived Varieties in accordance with the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention. Moreover, there is stipulation for increased punitive damages for infringement, as well as stricter phytosanitary measures for seed production of species regulated as quarantine pests. China’s Seed Law was last revised in 2015 and incorporates a 2013 plant variety protection regulation. China became a member of UPOV in 1999, and currently adheres to the 1978 convention. For more details on the draft amendment, see origina here for more details on the draft amendment.
Hebei and Hubei variety exhibition evaluations: These two Chinese provinces recently organized variety exhibitions and demonstrations. August 19: Results for Hebei’s 2020-2021 winter wheat display trial evaluations have been announced. The announcement covers trial results for four main groups, including the central-south group of Hebei, Zanhuang County, Shijiazhuang City, and north of central Hebei. Various varieties were evaluated. See original story here for full details. In Hubei, guidelines for exhibiting varieties approved (registered) in the past three to five years were announced. See here for more details for Hubei varieties.
Imported hamster feed with parasitic seeds intercepted: August 19: Customs officials in Fuzhou have intercepted and destroyed 16.34 kilograms of hamster feed that contained parasitic plant seeds of species classified as plant quarantine pests. Fuzhou Customs Technology Center determined that the intercepted batch, which had been imported from the Netherlands, contained 35 kinds of plant seeds, including types of dodder of the Cuscuta genus, which is an invasive, fast-reproducing parasitic parasitic herb that can suffocate and feed off of beets, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, soybeans and and various other types of crops. Original news here.
Liaoning IP reinforcement: August 19: The Office of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Liaoning Province recently issued a notice announcing its plan to strengthen Intellectual Property Rights protection and related processes. The notice follows the issuing of the"Notice of the General Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Launching Special Rectification Actions for the Protection of the Intellectual Property Rights of the Seed Industry" and includes plans to organize training activities, strengthening enforcement measures as well as streamlining administrative and IP registration and filing processes. Original news here.
Storms ravage crops: Agriculture across Chinese Taipei was adversely affected by typhoon-induced weather in August 2021:
Typhoon Lubi overview on Chinese Taipei ag damage: August 23: According to a report by the Council of Agriculture, Typhoon Lubi, which ravaged the island at the beginning of August, resulted in damage to agriculture totaling USD 52 million. The area affected encompassed over 5,900 hectares in the southern and central regions. The worst damage centered around Chiayi and Yunli counties and further south in Kaohsiung City and Pingtung county. Damaged crops include edible corn, peanuts, watermelon, cantaloupe, cantaloupe, and leafy vegetables. Livestock, poultry, and fisheries also experienced severe losses. The destruction has caused a rise in the prices of vegetables and fruits throughout the country. Original story in Chinese here
Taoyuan crop damages: August 18: Torrential rain that lasted for several days at the beginning of August caused widespread damage to crops in Taoyuan municipality and around the southern and central region. To support farmers in the affected area, the Taoyuan Council of Agriculture is providing agricultural natural disaster relief for affected farmers. A total of 32 applications have been received so far, and applications are open up to August 23. According to the regulations set forth by the Council of Agriculture, aid recipients must be engaged in agriculture and damage must equal more than 20% of total production. After submitting a request for aid the office will send staff to inspect the damage to the farmland. Original story in Chinese here
Yunlin storm damage crop Chinese Taipei: Aug 10: President Tsai Ing-wen traveled to Yunlin County on August 9, accompanied by the chairman of the Council of Agriculture, and mayor of Yunlin County, to inspect damage caused by Typhoon Lubi. The damage affecting agriculture, fisheries, and livestock in the county totaled roughly USD 8 million. In particular, peanut farmers were not only affected by damaged crops but also a lack of seeds causing high seed prices. The central government will provide natural disaster relief and low-interest loans to farmers in the county who have suffered agricultural losses. Original story in Chinese here
Zucchini yellow mosaic virus detected in Urumqi: August 19: The Urumqi Customs Technology Center, located in the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of the People's Republic of China, has announced the detection of zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), an aphid-borne potyvirus, in exported zucchini seeds for the first time. Announcement in Chinese here
Jiuquan seed expo: Aug 10: The 4th Jiuquan Modern Seed Industry Expo and the first Jiuquan Flower Expo were held in Jiuquan, Gansu Province on August 10. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the conference will be held through an online live broadcast and will also include offline elements. Due to its fertile soil, ample sunlight, dry climate, a large difference in day-night temperature, Jiuquan prefecture is recognized as one of the best areas for crop seed production in the world. The scale of Jiuquan seed production has continued to expand with rich germplasm resources, a strong scientific and technological foundation, breeding innovation, and an improved regulatory system leading to a number of special varieties being developed. The expo will comprise more than 4,000 varieties of 11 major crops including vegetables, flowers, sunflowers, and grains, 58 sets of seed-related agricultural machinery, and many seed industry enterprises covering the entire industry chain. Original story in Chinese here
Henan recovers from flood impacts on cropping: Aug 3: Heavy rains and disastrous flooding in Henan has resulted in human casualties and severe impacts on cropping. Henan is a major agricultural province of China, with grain output exceeded 68 million tons last year, and accounting for about one-tenth of the country's total output. As of July 29, a total of 14.5 million acres of crops, including swatches of maize and wheat crops, had been affected by the recent flooding and rain disaster. At time of press, 11.9 million mu of inundated farmland had been drained, and 150,000 mu was replanted. Full details in original news here.
Covid blamed for port congestion, rising freight: August 12: Congestion at China’s top two container ports -- Shanghai and Ningbo -- was reported to be linked to the shutdown of a container terminal at the Ningbo-Zhousan port following the detection of COVID-19 in a vaccinated employee. Vessels were being diverted, according to one report, while it was reported in another report that retailers abroad were “scrambling” due to “pressure on crumbling global supply chains”. The Ningbo-Zhoushan port reportedly handled cargo equivalent to almost 29 million containers in 2020, and its partial closure compounded Chinese shipping stress following severe disruptions at the Yantian port in Shenzhen.The Delta variant of covid is being blamed for the latest disruptions, including staff shortages, slower working practices and backlogs of cargo, prompting many companies to add “Covid contract clauses” as insurance against losses linked to stranded ships. .The China port shutdown may fuel further increases in freight rates, which have been rising as the shipping industry grapples with bottlenecks.
China notifies new ToBRFV measures for seed imports: July 16: From September 20, stricter ToBRFV phytosanitary measures will apply to tomato and pepper (Capsicum sp.) seeds imported into China. The General Administration of Customs of People’s Republic of China on July 16 informed its trading partners via the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures notification mechanism (G/SPS/N/CHN/1223), that:
“According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine and relevant regulations of its implementation regulations, Solanum lycopersicum L. and Capsicum spp. seeds exported to China from countries or regions where ToBRFV occurs should meet the following requirements:
1. The Solanum lycopersicum L. and Capsicum spp. seeds exported to China come from ToBRFV pest free areas established according to ISPM No. 4 and officially recognized. The National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the exporting country shall indicate in the attached statement of the phytosanitary certificate of goods that "this batch of XX seeds comes from ToBRFV pest free area";
2. According to the official investigation, ToBRFV did not occur in the planting areas and in the growing period of Solanum lycopersicum L. and Capsicum spp. seeds exported to China. For bulk goods, at least 3,000 representative Solanum lycopersicum L. or Capsicum spp. seed samples (at least 10% for small bulk goods) were taken before export, and the seeds were detected by RT-PCR or real-time fluorescence RT-PCR for ToBRFV, and the results showed that they did not carry ToBRFV. In the additional statement of the phytosanitary certificate, it shall be stated that "the official investigation on ToBRFV has been conducted during the growing period, and ToBRFV has not occurred in the planting area. Before export, the seeds were detected by RT PCR or real-time fluorescence RT-PCR and the results showed that they did not carry ToBRFV"
See original Chinese document here:
The notification follows the General Administration of Customs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs’ Announcement No. 413 in April which added ToBRFV to is list of imported Plant Quarantine pests, in addition to Maize dwarf mosaic virus, Candidatus, Liberibacter solanacearum Liefting et al., Otala lactea (Müller) and Euglandina rosea (Ferussac).
The China National Seed Trade Association and Asia Pacific Seed Association have reached out to China’s National Plant Protection Organization to seek clarification on certain aspects of the new measures, so as to minimize impacts on seed trade. Updates will be shared with and discussed through APSA’s Standing Committee on International Trade and Quarantine.
Typhoon strikes China NE coast: July 26: Typhoon In-Fa (locally called Yan Hua or 烟花) made landfall in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, at around 12:30 pm on Jul 25, with wind gusts reported to be as high as 136.8 kilometers per hour. The Zhejiang emergency management department called for the closure of schools, factories and markets as Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport canceled inbound and outbound flights on Sunday and Monday. It was reported that over 1.1 million residents had been relocated on July 24, while various precautionary measures were taken to minimize agriculture risks in and around Shanghai.
Henan crops, infrastructure devastated by downpours, flooding: July 22: Dozens have perished as hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed by floodwaters in the Chinese province of Henan. Some reports, such as this one, said it is the worst downpour in decades. According to one report as of July 22, some 73,000 residents were being evacuated as more than 215,200 hectares of crops had been destroyed, and there was a direct economic loss of about 1.22 billion yuan. Henan is reportedly one of China’s major crop production regions. Last year, the province yielded 68.26 million tons of grain, representing one-tenth of the country's total output. Nonetheless, according to another report, the heavy rain was only expected to “have a short-term impact on the production and logistics of vegetables and other agricultural products,” and would not impact output of corn, rice or wheat due the timing. According to a Chinese language report, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs stated on July 20 that 70% of the early rice planted in China had been harvested. High levels of precipitation were reported in Lushan County's Pingdingshan City, where more thann 35 square miles of crops worth $11.3 million were damaged or lost. APSA has learned that the Beijing Seed Association has called on its members to donate seeds to affected farmers including in Zhenzhou city and elsewhere.
China moon rice harvested: July 11: The first crop of "space rice" has been harvested at South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou. The rice was grown from 40 grams of rice seed that landed on the moon and returned to earth aboard the Chang'e 5 on a five-month lunar mission. The offspring of this first batch will be transplanted to rice paddies to be grown outdoors for the first time as part of China's space mutation breeding experiment. Each seed of the "space rice" is about 1 cm long with an off-white and brown body, and is expected to produce a batch of better gene sources for the selection and breeding of new high-yield and high-quality varieties. To ensure safety for consumers, the rice seeds will be developed and tested over 3 to 4 years, with the expected result of producing a 100% original Chinese new rice variety. Original story in Chinese here
MARA eases seed import burden: July 9: The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) announced on July 8 that to reform the country's seed industry, MARA has recently streamlined the approval process for the import and export of crop seeds and cancelled the provincial-level review process. Full video report in Chinese here. The revised guidelines are aimed at encouraging the introduction of germplasm resources for breeders and researchers, as well as providing an easy to follow legal compliance process. The Ministry of Finance together with the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration of Taxation also clarified that from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2025 imported seeds are exempt from import value-added tax. It is hoped that the relaxation of tax for seed imports during the period will play an important role in improving the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the country's agriculture. Original story in Chinese here
Showcasing improved soybean varieties in Bei'an: July 8th: In the 130-hectare Bei'an Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Demonstration Park in Heilongjiang Province carried out 12 trials and demonstrations focussed on the breeding of high-protein soybean varieties. In 2021, some 13,000 hectares of high-quality farmland, 10 agricultural science and technology parks, and 4 water conservation projects will be created in the area. Read original story here
8th Ningxia Seed Industry Expo: July 8: The 8th Ningxia Seed Industry Expo will be held in Pingluo County in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on July 26-28 at Ningxia Taijin Seed Industry Industrial Park. The expo will feature "technology, sharing, quality, integration" as the theme with online displays and live broadcasts to help companies enhance their brand and connect with customers. Highlights will include a seed industry development exchange symposium, forum, industry awards ceremony, and inspection of seed production and crop planting bases in townships in Pingluo County. The area features flat terrain, fertile soil and mineral-rich water from the Yellow River with 1.2 million acres of arable land and a complete agricultural infrastructure to develop seed production. Original story in Chinese here
Sichuan Province Announces 2021-2022 Disaster Relief and Famine Preparedness Seed Reserve Plan: July 8: To ensure the security of seeds used in agricultural production, Sichuan Province announced the province's 2021-2022 Disaster Relief and Famine Preparedness Seed Reserve Plan, which divides seed reserves into disaster relief and famine preparedness categories. Disaster relief seeds include short-growing crop varieties such as vegetables, soybeans, miscellaneous grains and beans, with a total 400,000 kilograms of seeds and the subsidies of USD 0.5 per kilogram. Famine preparedness reserve seeds include hybrid varieties of rice, corn and rapeseed with 800,000 kilograms of seeds, and a subsidy of USD 0.08 per kilogram. The reserve period will be from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022. Original story in Chinese here
Yunnan sinkhole attracts rare plant seed hunters: July 7: The Southwest China Wildlife Germplasm Bank of the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, conducted an expedition to collect and preserve the germplasm of species in the unique habitat of large sinkhole around Mengzi City in Yunnan Province. On June 17, 2021, a professional rock climbing team, assisted by drones, collected the germplasm of plants in the sinkhole to a depth of 100 meters and discovered critically endangered plant species that had not been seen for over 100 years. The Southwest China Wildlife Germplasm Bank in Yunnan is home to over 85,000 seeds from 10,601 species. Original story in Chinese here
Cold weather impacts maize planting and germination in Zhangye: July 6: Low temperatures and heavy rains this May and June have resulted in reduced germination of maize seeds in Zhangye in Gansu Province. The temperature in many northwestern provinces has been lower than in previous years, resulting in slowed germination and growth, and together with high humidity, has caused seed rot and mold. In Xinjiang, heavy rain and snow in April caused severe frost damage to crops. Original story in Chinese here
Zhangshu City Launches New Late Rice Variety Demonstrations: July 2: To promote and encourage the adoption of newly developed late rice varieties, Zhangshu Agriculture and Rural Affairs Bureau in Jiangxi Province has organised demonstrations of late rice seed preparation, seedling field selection and tillage. Original story in Chinese here
Tianjin rice selection and transplanting: June 30: Xiaozhan rice cultivation in Tianjin Municipality has grown to 67,000 hectares under cultivation, an increase of about 13,000 hectares from last year. The planting process of Xiaozhan rice uses standardized seedlings and seedling transplanting and is planted later than in other regions. Original story in Chinese here
Record rice yield in Qiongbei: June 27: The Chaoyou Qian hybrid rice planted in Lingao County of Hainan Province has set a record for Qiongbei’s highest rice yield at 13.56 tonnes per hectare. The project was led by the late Yuan Longping, often referred to as the "Father of Hybrid Rice", of the Hainan Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Cao Bing, Vice President of the Provincial Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The demonstration project aims to produce 13.5 tonnes per hectare in early cropping, 9 tonnes per hectare in late cropping, and 22.5 tonnes per hectare in double-season crops. Original story in Chinese here
China corn expo varieties: June 25: Taking place at the Tianfu Modern Seed Industry Park in Chengdu on June 24th, the 2021 China (Sichuan) Fresh Corn Conference included an exhibition of a total of 568 new fresh corn varieties. A panel of twelve industry experts conducted a comprehensive selection of the exhibited varieties that included 156 waxy corn varieties, 198 sweet and waxy corn varieties, 195 sweet corn varieties and 19 speciality varieties. The exhibition was aimed at promoting rural revitalization by encouraging the development and registration of high-quality varieties. Selection criteria included field performance, ear yield, appearance and eating quality. Zhang Yanqiu, chairman of the China Seed Association, and Xiao Xiaoyu, a member of the party group and deputy director of the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, issued certificates to the winners of the variety selection. Original story in Chinese here
Chongqing strengthens seed supervision: June 23: The municipality of Chongqing has launched a three-year plan to regulate and modernize its seed industry. The plan includes four parts, starting with the strict management of seed production bases, including the licensing of seed production enterprises, daily inspections of seed production bases, and cracking down on intellectual property infringements and illegal genetically modified seeds. Second is the inspection of seed companies, focussing on seed quality, packaging labels, authenticity, and genetically modified ingredients. Thirdly, the municipality will conduct spot checks at markets to inspect seed packaging labels, records and accounts, and testing seed quality and authenticity. Finally, the Chongqing municipal government will promote self-regulation amongst seed industry organizations and introduce standardization in seed production and operations of seed industry enterprises. Further, the municipal government will support industry organizations in carrying out evaluations such as variety appraisals and applying for variety registrations. Original story in Chinese here
Judiciary interpretation strengthens new variety rights: On July 5, the Supreme People's Court issued the "Several Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on the Specific Application of Legal Issues in the Trial of Disputes over Infringement of New Variety Rights in Plants (2)" Effective July 7, the new judicial interpretation has five salient aims as follows (rough translation): The first is to expand the scope of protection to cover the entire value chain, from breeding to sales, variety acquisition, storage, transportation, and processing. The second is to improve the level of protection by improving the timeliness and effectiveness of judicial procedures, issuing more punitive measures to deter infringement, as well as through benefits and compensation for breeder rights holders. The third is to reduce difficulties in the procedures to register and thus safeguard rights; the fourth is improvement of the overall legal system, clarifying scientific research exceptions and encouraging breeding innovations while preventing abuse of "farmers' privileges". The fifth is to standardize auditing and appraisal procedures. See original interpretation in Chinese language here.
Syngenta sells 20% stake in Shanghai IPO: July 3: Syngenta Group, the ChemChina-owned Swiss agrichemical company, filed an application for an initial public offering in order to raise $10 billion on the Shanghai STAR Market.The company said it planned to raise to sell up to 2.79 billion shares, or a 20% stake, via the IPO, according to the prospectus. The listing was reported to be the largest IPO globally in 2021 and the biggest ever at the two-year-old STAR Market, a Nasdaq-style tech-heavy exchange. The IPO would value Syngenta at over $50 billion. "Syngenta Group will expand and renovate its production facility and implement strategic acquisition to meet growing market needs," the company said in the prospectus. State-owned ChemChina bought Syngenta for $43 billion in 2017. Last year, ChemChina merged the Swiss company with Israel's ADAMA and the fertilizer and seed business of Sinochem, another of China's state-owned chemical firms. Syngenta employs about 49,000 in more than 100 countries, according to its website. Its four business units are: Syngenta Seeds, Syngenta Crop Protection, ADAMA and Syngenta Group China. See news here.
Longping Hi-Tech seed business thrived in 2020: In an operations performance briefing on May 25, it was revealed that in 2020, the company realized operating income of 3.29 billion yuan ($515.8 million), which represents a year-on-year increase of 5.14%. Of this, CNY 60.81mn ($9.5mn) was net profit, a y-o-y increase of 118.76%. Breaking down revenu by type of crop seed, hybrid rice seeds yielded revenue of 1.390 billion yuan ($217.9mn), a y-o-y increase of 10.69%; maize seeds fetched 988 million yuan ($154.9mn), an increase of 26.85% while vegetable and fruit seeds netted 294 million yuan ($46mn) up 19.21% from 2019. See full details in Chinese news report here.
Beijing Seed Regulation pitches penalties for unauthorized use of natural germplasm: May 27: The recently proposed "Beijing Seed Regulations" draft bill stipulates that unauthorized harvest or use of catalogued “natural germplasm resources” will be subject to fines of between 5,000 and 50,000 yuan ($784-7,840). The draft bill was discussed at the 31st meeting of the Standing Committee of the 15th Beijing Municipal People's Congress, where it was revealed that by the end of 2019, there were 265 licensed seed production and operation enterprises in Beijing, more than 80 national-level seed industry research and development institutions, more than 50 national-level seed industry engineering centers and key laboratories, as well as 13 integrated enterprises, accounting for 15% of the country's total. The draft bill has 8 chapters and 51 articles covering general provisions, protection of germplasm resources, variety selection and management, seed production and operations, seed supervision and management, support and protection, legal responsibilities and supplementary provisions. It was reported that the draft bill aims to standardize variety selection, seed production, operation and management, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of seed producers and users, improve seed quality, promote seed industrialization, and develop a modern seed industry. The draft regulation proposes that the major crop varieties and major forest tree varieties shall be examined and approved by the state in accordance with the relevant provisions of the state before they are promoted. See original full story in Chinese here.
Plan pitches Jinan City as ‘North China Seed Capital’: May 27: An "Action Plan for Accelerating the Innovation and Development of Modern Seed Industry and Striving to Build the Seed Capital of Northern China" underlines a goal to develop Jinan City as a research and innovation center for the Yellow River Basin seed industry, noting that the area surrounding the capital of Shandong province has become a hub for leading seed industry company headquarters, and a distribution center for seed and seedling transactions, R&D center for the improvement and trade of crop seeds as well as vegetable seedlings. The plan proposes that by 2025, the creation of 10 national-level seed industry R&D centers as well as the development of “20 breakthrough and excellent varieties with major application prospects and independent intellectual property rights” the establishment of 10 standardized, large-scale, intensified, and mechanized high-quality seed breeding bases; 10 "integrated breeding and promotion" crop seed management enterprises and leading enterprises with strong breeding ability, advanced production and processing technology, sound marketing networks, and technical promotion services in place; as well as the development of at least 10 enterprises with an annual output of more than 100 million yuan, and for the city’s annual seedling production capacity to exceed 2 billion units. See details in Chinese here.
Shandong as a Chinese medical herb breeding hub: May 24: Shina Finance reports on efforts and progress in Shandong to strengthen the selection and breeding of new varieties of Chinese medicinal materials, and thus ‘consolidate the foundation of the Chinese medicine industry’. The article notes that Shandong is a major province of Chinese medicine, and in recent years, Shandong has continuously strengthened the selection and breeding of new varieties of valuable Chinese herbs. Several specifical examples are detailed in the article.
Xinjiang hybrid maize production base: May 26: The Fifth Division (of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps) is classified as a National Hybrid Corn Seed Production Base, where tens of thousands of mu (1 mu = 666.6 sq. meters) of seed-producing corn is reportedly growing well. It is understood that in 2013, the Fifth Division was identified as a national hybrid corn seed production base by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and was listed as a national hybrid corn seed production county, where farmers and producers are eligible for financial incentives and support for development. This year, the five divisions planted 24,900 mu of seed production corn, and the output value is expected to reach 62.25 million yuan. Full details in Chinese here.
Space Seeds distributed on UN Intl Biodiversity Day. To celebrate the United Nations International Biodiversity Day on May 22, the Hong Kong UNESCO Association organized an event at the Hong Kong Institute of Education for Sustainable Development, in which "space seeds" were distributed to member schools of the Hong Kong Aerospace Science and Technology Youth Education Alliance, so as to increase students' interest in scientific exploration of biodiversity . It is understood that the alliance breeding program was launched in 2015. In 2019, a number of "space seeds" brought back by the "Shenzhen 10" satellite were planted in alliance member schools. In March 2021, the "Long March 5 Space Seed" was planted at the Hong Kong Space Seed Breeding Center. See chinese video report here.
Guidance on improving, promoting Beijing wheat production: May 21: As part of ongoing efforts by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Affairsto promote the development and productivity of improved wheat varieties in and around the Chinese capital, Beijing has carried out activities to provide guidance and incentive to wheat farmers, see through the renewal of improved varieties, and thus ensure the quality of wheat production seeds this autumn, while promoting a steady increase of wheat production in the suburbs of Beijing. See more details here.
Sichuan major crop variety inspection notice: May 20: Provincial agriculture officials have announced a notice for carrying out the “Supervision and Inspection Work of the Independent Test of Major Crops in Sichuan Province in 2021” task, which will include “random inspections” of major crop production areas ‘in order to further strengthen the supervision and management of the province's main crop variety trials, standardize the independent experimentation of the province's main crop varieties to ensure the overall quality level of the province's main crop variety trials. For full details of inspections and notice in Chinese, see here.
Striving for ‘excellent variety’ yields in Ningxia: May 20: A plan jointly drafted by the Ningxia Science and Technology Department and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department, entitled "Seed Industry Science and Technology Innovation Action in the Autonomous Region" aims for the development and cultivation of some 40 excellent new varieties of wheat, rice, corn, potatoes, wine grapes, medlar and forage grass by 2030, in addition to high-quality and high-yielding dairy cows and beef cattle breeds. An article announcing the plan notes that although the area of the Ningxia autonomous region in north-central China is small, it is a “golden zone for seed breeding. Its unique geographical location, climatic conditions, and soil characteristics enable the cash crop seeds produced in Ningxia to have high yields, full grains, bright colors, low moisture content, storage resilience, and germination.” Full details about the plan in Chinese here.
Beijing approves 17 new varieties: May 20: In accordance with the Chinese procedures for reviewing and approving new crop variety applications, the Ninth Crop Variety Approval Committee of Beijing Municipality in its 39th Review has approved 17 new varieties, which include 12 maize and five soybean cultivars. For full list of varieties and their developers, see this article.
WorldVeg sends more germplasm to ‘Doomsday Vault’: May 19: Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) and the World Vegetable Center have sent some 11,700 samples of 48 vegetable species to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault off Norway. According to a news article, “WorldVeg has been an active participant in the Svalbard Seed Vault since its founding in 2008…”. Prior to this latest shipment, the WorldVeg had stored 17,736 accessions, and now that will increase to 29,507 accessions. By 2025, WorldVeg aims to have at least 90%, if not more, of its active collection (65,000 accessions representing 456 species from 158 countries) duplicated in the seed vault. See more details here.
New wheat varieties exhibited in Henan: May 15: Hundreds attended the Henan Province New Wheat Variety Exhibition, which was hosted in Weishi recently by the Henan Seed Station and Kaifeng Agriculture and Rural Bureau, and undertaken by Kaifeng Seed Workstation and Weishi County Agriculture and Rural Bureau. It was reported that the city has cultivated 300 acres of new wheat varieties to display in demonstration fields. Productivity of the varieties was as much as 600 to 650 kg per mu. See more details in Chinese here.
Guizhou wheat variety trial inspections, review: May 13-14: In order to further strengthen the trial management of new crop varieties in our province, improve the quality of regional trials, and fully understand the implementation and performance of regional trials the Provincial Seed Management Station on May 13-14 conducted performance reviews and field inspections at various sites, including the Qiannan Prefecture Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Qiandongnan Prefecture Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Tongren City Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It was agreed that the trials in all districts were implemented in strict accordance with the requirements of this year’s test plan. See more details in Chinese here.
Hainan winter cotton, rice variety appraisals: On May 12-13, 2021, the National Agricultural Technology Center in Hainan Province carried out variety purity appraisal of cotton and rice samples. An appraisal team composed of relevant seed inspectors and industry experts screened all samples on a plant-by-plant basis and conducted centralized review and consultation in accordance with the "General Rules for Crop Seed Labeling" for cotton, and in compliance with national standards for the quality of rice seeds The preliminary findings are that the “purity of rice and cotton varieties spot-checked by ministerial winter seed companies in 2020 will maintain a relatively high level”. See original news in Chinese here.
New soybean breeding laboratory opened in Hainan: On May 12, the Yazhou Bay Seed Laboratory was inaugurated in Hainan Province. “The laboratory focuses on national strategies and frontiers in science and technology, and Hainan urgently needs to carry out major technological research, highlight the realization of system and mechanism innovation, and create an experimental field for scientific and technological management reform and innovation,” said the director of the new laboratory, which is currently focusing on research and development for soybeans, encompassing molecular-scale breeding, genome-wide selection technologies, and development of high-yielding and high-quality varieties. The article, in Chinese here, also details various pros and cons of Hainan Province as a research and breeding base to host new laboratories.
Early-maturing rice Heshan, Yiyang: On May 10, early-maturing rice seedlings that were transplanted on a tract of land in Gaojiaqiao Village, Henglongqiao Town, Heshan District were vegetating nicely. According to the village party secretary, two years ago, early-maturing rice -- which allows for double-season production -- was first cultivated in the village last year, on nearly 1,000 mu. By this year, all the 1,700 mu of available paddy fields have been planted with early-maturing rice, which, as of May 6, had been planted on 1,722,400 mu around Yiyang city. See news here.
CNSTA, ISF, ag stakeholders in EDV, UPOV-1991 seminar: To mark World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, the China Seed Trade Association (CNSTA) with the International Seed Federation -- and with strong support from China’s Science and Technology Development Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Crop Science Asia Association Beijing Representative Office and Corteva -- held an international symposium on the Essentially Derived Variety (EDV) system, an essential part of the UPOV 1991 convention. The seminar was attended by dozens of Chinese seed industry stakeholders in person at a hotel in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, and featured presentations and discussions led by both Chinese and international seed industry representatives. Perspectives on the application of EDVs were shared by seed association representatives including ISF and the American Seed Trade Association, as well as from companies such as Corteva and Syngenta. See full details in Chinese here.
2021 China International Seed Trade Exhibition(CISTE): Organized by the China National Seed Trade Association (CNSTA) and CCPIT Sub-council of Chemical Industry, the 2021 China International Seed Trade Exhibition(CISTE) will take place at the Shanghai New International Expo Center on June 22-24, 2021. As part of the 22nd China International Agrochemical & Crop Exhibition (CAC), the world's largest agrochemical trade event with 1,475 exhibitors, CISTE offers a Opportunities to negotiate face-to-face with nearly 50,000 buyers of agricultural products from 114 countries around the world, network with domestic and international seed distributors, learn about the latest seed technologies, processes and equipment, and obtain the most comprehensive international seed market price information. Visit the official website to learn more about the event.
Reducing reliance on imported seeds to ensure food security: 3 Apr: At the 2021 China Development Forum, which was hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council from 20 - 22 March 2021, Qin Hengde, President of Syngenta Group China, said, "High-quality seeds are still very important for the scientific and technological support of our food security. My country must narrow the gap with the world's leading technology as soon as possible, especially our corn and soybeans. There is still a lot of room to make up for." Mr. Qin argued that the two main problems to be solved were breeding technology and the protection of intellectual property rights. To address these he proposed three solutions. First, to accelerate the introduction of high-quality seed resources and advanced breeding technologies into the country. Second, to promote the sustainable development of the country's industrial biotechnology. Third, legislation to protect intellectual property rights and to establish a substantive protection system for derived varieties including increased punishment for intellectual property infringements. According to Ye Xingqing, director of the Rural Economic Research Department of the Development Research Center of the State Council, China will produce 670 million tons of grain and import 140 million tons of grain in 2020. According to estimates, China's demand for grain may reach 850 million tons, leaving a potential shortfall of 60 million tons. Demand for soybean and soybean meal, which supplies 60% of animal feed protein, continues to rise, with imports reaching 100 million tons for the first time in 2020. Original story in Chinese here, here and here.
Hunan Province starts construction of first batch of "seed industry towns":