On April 1st, the 2023 China Seed Conference and Southern Silicon Valley Forum opened in Sanya, Hainan. More than 3000 people from the Chinese seed industry gathered at the event, with the theme of "the Revitalization of China's Seed Industry and the Rise of Southern Silicon Valley." The conference provided a platform for the public and private sectors to discuss cooperation for the revitalization of the Chinese seed industry.
Organized by the China Seed Association (CSA) during its first two years (2018 and 2019) in Beijing, the conference was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19, and re-established in 2021 as a physical meeting in its new home in the city of Sanya, on the island of Hainan.
The opening ceremony and the main forum were held on April 1st, featuring speeches and presentations from dignitaries, and academic experts, who presented on the latest developments and trends in China’s seed sector. In addition to recognition ceremonies and the main forum focused on the aforementioned conference theme, there were 13 sub-forums on April 2 and 3, including forums on germplasm resource protection and utilization, biological breeding industrialization, and international cooperation.
In his opening remarks, Academician Wu Weihua, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, expressed that the current revitalization of the seed industry had achieved a good start. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China has carried out the largest general survey of agricultural germplasm resources, launched actions on key provenances and key technologies, selected national seed industry enterprises, improved the national seed breeding system, and implemented a series of fruitful work on market purification and intellectual property protection, resulting in many progressions and breakthroughs.
Among the conference’s award ceremonies was the "China Seed Industry Credit Star Enterprise," recognition program, announced by Mrs. Ma Shuping, Vice President of the China Seed Association. Since 2011, the China Seed Association has evaluated enterprises in the seed industry and has awarded a total 783 credit enterprises over the past 12 years from the 935 enterprises evaluated.
Delegates not only had the chance to learn from technical and academic presentations featured in various forums and seminars, but they also had ample opportunities to discuss business and collaboration in the exhibition hall. Over 50 companies, including APSA members Winall Hi-Tech, Minpack Technology (Shanghai), Wuhan Yafei Seed, and NingXia Taijin Seed, exhibited their products and services.
During the International Cooperation Forum on April 2, APSA Executive Director Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey presented online during the forum, emphasizing the importance of public and private cooperation in addressing the various issues that the seed industry faces.
One of the forum's highlights was the signing ceremony for the University Connect initiation Memorandum of Understanding between APSA, Northwest A&F University, and CSA. Mr. Jiang Xiexin, CSA Vice President and Secretary-General, expressed appreciation to APSA for launching the project and thanked Northwest A&F University for promoting and actively participating in the project. He noted that signing the cooperation memorandum was significant and would create a new talent training model through the participation of international and domestic industry organizations and universities. He also expressed hope that the memorandum's signing would accelerate China's international seed industry's talent training and improve its international competitiveness.
Dr. Manish Patel, APSA president, highlighted the symbolic importance of the MOU. He said that China, along with his home country India, was one of APSA's primary territories in terms of membership representation, making it fitting that the first of several planned partnerships be signed with China. He emphasized the importance of capacity building and noted that APSA's partnerships with various universities, including the National Association of India, GB Pant Agricultural University, Thai Seed Trade Association, and Khon Kaen University, would help tackle the challenges of sustainable agriculture.
Mr. Wu Pute, the president of the Northwest A&F University, introduced the university and expressed his suggestions for next steps. He said that the MOU on University Connect Program jointly signed with the CSA and APSA would connect agriculture-related universities, enterprises, and seed industry associations of various countries in the Asia-Pacific region, providing an important platform for training high-quality talents in the seed industry. He suggested that all parties further strengthen scientific research cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to make efficient use of seed industry resources and actively participate in intergovernmental international scientific and technological cooperation programs.