Newsletter April 2021

Quality Seed | Quality Life

April 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to APSA’s April 2021 Newsletter! No time to read, download and listen to our podcast. Download here. 

Table of Contents 


Welcome to the April Newsletter (for audio, say ‘Podcast’) 

First of all, happy belated traditional New Year to our members in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. A Happy belated Easter to our Christian, and Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim members, respectively. Indeed, April is an important time in the region, and likewise for all of our seed companies and farmers throughout, who have been busy in the procurement of quality seeds and preparation of fields to be sown as the weather warms in the North, cools in the South and rains return throughout. We wish all successful preparation and planting in the weeks ahead!

April thus far has certainly been an active month for APSA and so we have much exciting developments and news to relay here. 

On April 8, we held our Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Seed Companies (WIC) virtual Midterm Meeting, which was a great success. 



We welcomed more members from four countries, and the meeting covered a lot of ground on a number of important topics for the Asian vegetable seed industry, with more details below. 

APSA committees also organized two webinars this month; the first on April 1 was the launch of our new Seed Technology webinars. The first topic was about seed health testing. The second, which was just a few days ago, was our 3rd session of the ASCRT series of webinars; the topic for this one was abiotic stress resistance in plant breeding. 


















We’ve received good feedback from our members on our webinars. Active APSA members can watch all previous webinars from the members area of the website. As for attending upcoming webinars live, a reminder that pre-registration is required. To register, you will need to use the username and password of your organization’s voting representative. Once logged in, you will be able to register an unlimited number of participants from your organization. For further inquiries about registration processes, please contact APSA’s Membership Coordination Manager via And see Upcoming Events below. 

We look forward to a lot more activities, new initiatives, and collaborations with our regional stakeholders, detailed updates of which will be shared by our technical team and events manager. 

Regarding this year’s Asain Seed Congress, please be informed that we are monitoring the ever-changing situation closely, together with our National Organizing Committee in China, which is led by the China Seed Association. We are still hopeful that international travel restrictions would be lifted by December.  In any case, we will provide another update on this by the end of May. 

Lastly, we hope that APSA continues to be a channel of knowledge-transfer and policy advocacy for members, especially for our national seed association members. 

Thus, if you have any updates, or ideas for collaboration that would serve the betterment of the seed sector, please reach out to APSA Executive Director ( or Communications Manager ( Thank you very much and please stay safe. 

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THANK YOU to our digital media sponsors

Technical Affairs

Public Private Partnerships

Welcome to Technical Affairs update. First, we would like to give you an update on the APSA-WorldVeg Breeding Consortium.

We’re continuing to process registrations for 2021 membership to the Consortium.

To recap, through the APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium, participating companies and WorldVeg researchers will have multiple opportunities to discuss and evaluate breeding approaches and discover new avenues to share data and progress, creating a win-win situation. The Consortium will initially focus on tomato, pepper (chili and sweet), cucurbits (bitter gourd and pumpkin/winter squash), and explore traditional vegetables (amaranth and okra) as determined by Consortium companies’ interest.

More details, benefits and timeline for the Consortium can be found here.

Aside from all the standard benefits of Consortium membership, this year we also have a number of special projects being carried out, which only Consortium members can take part in. This year the Heat Stress Tolerance of tomato & pepper special project registration is still on and the call closed date is postponed to May 15th , so more members can participate in this project. (Click here for project details). If you are interested in the special project, please hurry and register asap to catch the train.

Please note that the APSA-WorldVeg consortium exclusive event, the Annual Workshop will be held online on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 to provide updates on focus crops' breeding progress and special project ideas. 

There is no limitation for the number of participants per consortium company this year. You can click the link here to check the agenda and register for the annual workshop. In addition to the workshop, we will also offer online one-on-one chats for consortium company participants to chat/discuss with WorldVeg breeders on May 12-13, by prior request to Ms. Teresa Liang at

If you are interested in joining the consortium and the special project, You can click the link here to register online (member-only) or contact Xiaofeng Li. (

Next, regarding APSA’s new collaboration with Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) on Screening of Tomato necrotic ringspot virus (TNRV) and Capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV)-resistant sources in pepper germplasm, last week we had a meeting with NSTDA to discuss some revisions to the project based on industry requests. Stay tuned for an update on this in the near future. 


Special Interest Groups and Standing Committees

SC Seed Technology: First, the committee warmly welcomes as its newest member, Dr Tomoko Sakata , from Incotec Europe B.V..  Dr Tomoko has been working in the Japanese seed industry for around 25 years, in seed production, quality management and seed technology area. She wishes to contribute to the Asia seed industry through the Seed Tech committee to raise awareness on seed technologies, to understand the issues and challenges in Asian seed quality, and work together towards overcoming them. 

Aside from this, the committee on 1 April held its first of a new APSA Seed Technology - Webinar series, which was under the theme of Seed Health Testing for Plant Virus Pathogens. It was a very successful event with a total of 311 registrations, including reps from 67 companies/organizations joining as well as 12 National Plant Protection Offices country rep. Participants who joined the webinar and completed the survey received Certificate of Attendance from APSA.  

For details on the next APSA Seed Technology webinar in July, see events below. 

SC IPR & Biodiversity: Though there was no committee meeting this month, the committee members together with the APSA Secretariat continue to work closely with stakeholders on policy advocacy initiatives. These include the drafting of UPOV explanatory notes of Essentially Derived varieties, which is in collaboration with CIOPORA, the International Seed Federation, and regional seed associations; another noteworthy project is the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) toolbox program, which is supported  by Naktuinbouw to strengthen the capacity of Thailand and The Philippines so as to join the UPOV1991 convention. Besides this, the committee is also involved in planning a proposed webinar proposed by the ISF, which will be in the scope of farmers’ and breeders’  rights. 

During the WIC Midterm Meeting earlier this month (see below), one of SC IPR Biodiversity members, Ms Anke van den Hurkgave  a presentation on Digital Sequence Information (DSI) and plant genetic resources. It was a very informative session to provide background information on genetic resources and how the industry can contribute to this topic. The record will be shared with members soon.

SC International Trade and Quarantine is working on preparations for APSA’s 7th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation, which will be held online on July 28-29. This year the date has been moved forward from its usual August timing; during this same meeting we will also organize a workshop related to the  Project Preparation Grant (PPG) of the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) proposal that was approved this year, which was a result of our efforts in the Phytosanitary Expert Consultation, focusing on the implementation of ISPM38. We would like to thank all NPPOs and industry experts for providing very clear scope for our working plan. The secretariat has started sending out invitation letters to reps from concerned National Plant Protection Offices, seed association members and stakeholders. More details in Events update below. . 

SIG Field Crops met on March 30 and they continue working with SIG Vegetables & Ornamentals on co-initiatives, including: APSA recognition awards to recognize influential plant breeding researchers, as well as our Train the Trainer program, the next module of which will be on seed production practices, with a focus on IP Protection. 

The group has also been updated on the hybrid rice seed production localization policy of the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines. Earlier this year the committee contributed Talking Points for the Rice Board regarding this policy. After the policy was announced and shared by committee chair, Dr. Frisco Malabanan, APSA also received clarification from the Philippine Seed Industry Association that the policy aims to encourage investment in local seed production but would not inhibit the rice imports sector. This has underlined a good example of how working through committees can be effective to ensure the seed industry’s voice can be heard and changes can be made, accordingly. For this APSA would like to thank the Philippines Seed Industry Association, CropLife Philippines and the Rice Board Inc. for their great contribution. The committee will next meet in May so stay tuned for more updates.  

SIG Veg & Orn will have their next meeting in June. The group members and APSA Secretariat have been following up with action points from the last meeting and we will share more updates after the meeting next month. Meanwhile, let me share some updates from the sub-committees of the SIG V&O as follows: 

The Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Seed Companies or WIC: On Thursday, 8 April, APSA's Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Seed Companies (WIC) held its 2021 Midterm Meeting. This year, the WIC welcomed four new members, from Lal Teer Seed Bangladesh, Yuksel Seeds Pakistan, Vino Corporation Vietnam and Shandong Seed China. These members have joined WIC as observers. With them, the WIC now has a total of 25 integrated vegetable seed companies, whose representatives at the Midterm Meeting discussed a number of priorities for  the Asian vegetable seed industry. Among them included a review of the 2020 module of WIC’s Train the Trainers initiative. In 2020, the focus was on plant breeders rights, and moving forward, the 2021 TTT module will address germplasms security practices for seed production. In addition to updates from the Seed Innovation and Protection Initiative (#SIPI) and Disease Resistance Terminology (DRT) projects, there was also an educational presentation on Digital Sequencing Information (DSI) and Plant Genetic Resources given by the Dutch Seed Association (Plantum), as well as presentations from the International Seed Federation on the Systems Approach initiative and regional phytosanitary update. Other initiatives include a new University Connects project, as well as follow-up on a recent survey on COVID-19 distributed amongst WIC members. The results for this survey will be shared to members in a future edition of the magazine. The next WIC meeting is scheduled for Q4 of 2021. The full midterm meeting summary will be uploaded to the APSA membership area. Aside from this, soon the DSI presentation will also be available for our members on APSA’s online platform. APSA will keep its members updated on all of these points. Stay tuned. 

The Working Group of Disease Resistance Terminology will have their next meeting in May 2021. The group has finalized a list of resistant and susceptible varieties of Bitter Gourd against powdery mildew disease and has defined the protocols for laboratory testing. Trials based on these are expected to commence in the next few months. Recently, the APSA Secretariat had a meeting with ISF’s DRT Chair Dr. Valarie to discuss our collaboration on the pathogen codes to be published and shared with APSA and ISF members. More updates from the next DRT meeting will be relayed in the next podcast.

The R&D Advisory Group: Ensuring regional representation, the R&D AG  welcomed five new members in its recent meeting. They come from Bayer Crop Science or Monsanto India, Indo-American Hybrid Seeds India, Nong Woo Bio Korea, Kaneko Seeds Japan and HM. Clause Thailand. The committee now consists of nine members. Building on the success of the R&D AG’s Asian Solanaceous and Curbit Round Table or ASCRT Expert Talk on Crop Improvement Series first two webinars, on Wednesday (April 28) this week we successfully held our 3rd webinar in the series (which was on abiotic stress resistance in plant breeding). The 4th webinar of the ASCRT series is scheduled for June 16 and the theme of this webinar is “Advances in watermelon breeding”. Registration will open soon, please visit APSA website for more information. Finally, regarding a proposal to initiate a breeders / researchers Recognition Award, APSA will soon announce details about this program and will soon call out for nominations. Stay tuned for more information.

That’s it for Technical Affairs this month. Next, I would like to invite Mike to share more updates from the Events Department. 

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Following are updates on APSA Events and other Seed Related Industry events from around the world.

APSA WorldVeg Annual Workshop

On the 11th of May 2021 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (BKK Time), APSA will hold the APSA-WorldVeg Annual Workshop. This event gives particpants a great opportunity to have professional interaction with the World Vegetable Center scientists. WorldVeg will give an update on the vegetable breeding updates and the idea for a special project next year. The workshop is available for sll active APSA-WorldVeg Consortium members to join, with no limitation on the number of participants from each consortium company. For more details, please visit the official APSA Webpage or

LMI Virtual Workshop

From the 8th to the 10th of June 2021, in collaboration with USDA-FAS  and ASTA, APSA will be holding the Lower Mekong Seed Regional Virtual Workshop, with the focus on “Strengthening sustainable seed system for the Lower Mekong countries”

This Activity is a component of the Seed Trade Capacity Building in the Lower Mekong Project as a result of the meeting organized on 25 – 29 November 2018. As part of the final stage of the project, USDA FAS is inviting 4 Country Representatives from each of the Seed Offices of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to attend the Lower Mekong Seed Regional Workshop. The participants will participate in an educational webinar as the LMI countries have proposed in the workshop done in November 2018. Here the key participants from each country will share their progress update and give details on the required support needed from the USDA-FAS.

The objectives of this event are to Strengthen and bring awareness to seed sectors, on seed trade capacities, and rules-and science-based policy environments; Foster cooperation and the harmonization of seed policies among LMCs, consistent with practices and approaches in the United States and with relevant international guidelines; Promote public-private partnerships related to enabling environments for seed use and trade in LMCs and Developed an action plan for capacity building activities. The Event is invited ONLY. Please stay tuned for more details.  (Event Webpage pending).

Asian Solanaceous and Cucurbits Roundtable (ASCRT) - Session 4

On the 16th of June 2021 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Bangkok Time), APSA will be holding the 4th Session of the Asian Solanaceous and Cucurbits Roundtable (ASCRT). This session’s theme will focus on Advances in Watermelon Breeding and feature 2 guest speakers; Dr. Xingping Zhang from Institute of Advanced Agriculture Sciences, Peking University, China who will discuss on "Watermelon Germplasm Enhancement Using New Technologies” and Dr. Srinivasa Rao from Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), India who will discuss on "Emerging Priorities and Recent Achievements in Breeding Watermelon for Disease Resistance at ICAR-IIHR"

The event is open for all Active APSA Members to attend. Registration will open early May 2021. For more details, please visit the official Event Webpage on the APSA Website.

APSA Seed Technology Webinar 2

In mid-July 2021, APSA will holding the 2nd Session of the APSA Seed Technology Webinar. The main focus on UNLOCKING THE POWERS OF SEED COATING - Seed Applied Technologies for Value Addition on Seeds. The actual event date, guest speakers and their topics of discussion is still being finalized. Registration will open mid-June 2021. For more details, please visit the official Event Webpage on the APSA Website.

7th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation

On the 28th to the 29th of July 2021 from 11:00 am – 2:30 pm (BKK Time), APSA will be hosting the 7th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation. This event is INVITE ONLY. Staff from National Plant Protection Offices (NPPO) in Asia, Seed Association and APSA Stakeholders will be invited to participate. The purpose of the event is to continue to facilitate the seed trade in the region and to discuss further the public private partnership to strengthen the collaboration to address all concerns relating to seed movement across borders. This will be the first time that APSA has put together a consultation workshop for the STDF Project Proposal Grant to build capacity on ISPM-38 implementation to the 8 pilot countries. Please stay tuned for more details. (Event Webpage pending).

PVP On-Line Training 

In the month of August and November, APSA will be holding On-Line PVP Training Courses. In August the courses will be held specifically for the Philippines Seed Industry Association and for the Thai Seed Trade Association in November. This event will help to share knowledge on the Plant Variety Protection, plant breeders ‘rights under UPOV1991 convention as an important tool for delivering quality seeds to farmers. And to help build the capacity of national seed associations and their stakeholders on the importance of Plant Variety Protection and UPOV1991 convention through a tailor-made country specific program. Please stay tuned for more details. (Event Webpage pending).

Now for some other Seed Industry events happening around the world

Plant Health Seminar 2021 

Plant Health is one of the key components of the 'One Health' concept, and takes all its importance in the changing world. environmental changes, worldwide exchanges and reduction of phytopharmaceutical treatments increase the need of healthy seeds and plants.

For the International Year of Plant Health, ISTA and the Seed Health Committee organize a free seminar on Plant Health. Presentations will focus on regulatory aspects of plant health and plant protection in a changing world with new threats, new detection methods and alternative control measures.

The seminar is free for everyone to attend and that no costs will be charged, but pre-registration is required.

  • Wednesday the 5th of May 2021 - 16:00 CET (9:00 pm BKK Time)
    Session 1: Regulatory Aspects of Plant Health
    CLICK HERE to Register for Session 1
  • Wednesday the 12th of May 2021 - 16:00 CET (9:00 pm BKK Time)
    Session 2: Plant Protection in a Changing World
    Session 2.1:        New threats/ outbreaks/ regulations
    CLICK HERE to register for Session 2.1
  • Wednesday the 19th of May 2021 - 16:00 CET (9:00 pm BKK Time)

Session 2: Plant Protection in a Changing World
Session 2.2:        New detection methods
Session 2.3:        Alternative control measures

CLICK HERE to register for Sessions 2.2 and 2.3

UN Convention on Biological Diversity

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity will be held on May 17 in Kunming, China. The convention will review the achievement and delivery of the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. It is also anticipated that the final decision on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be taken, together with decisions on related topics including capacity building and resource mobilization. The “zero draft” for a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has included a focus on ensuring work to preserve biodiversity contributes to “the nutrition, food security, and livelihoods of people, especially for the most vulnerable.”

2021 China International Seed Trade Exhibition (CISTE)

China National Seed Trade Association (CNSTA) and CCPIT Sub-council of Chemical Industry together will organize the 2021 China International Seed Trade Exhibition(CISTE) at Shanghai New International Expo Center, China, on 22-24 June 2021. Based on the largest global agrochemical exhibition (CAC), CISTE builds up a professional export platform and communication and cooperation opportunities for agricultural material purchasers from more than 100 countries around the world to promote seed trade and movement between China and the other countries in the world. Besides, for the convenience of foreign attendees who can't attend, there is also a virtual expo, CAC Online, during 1-10 March, 2021. You can find the exhibitors online and start a real-time conversation with them.  

For more details please visit the Event Page on our APSA Website

The 17th National Conference on Seed Technology 2021

The Seed Association of Thailand, in association with Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi, the Rice Department, the Department of Agriculture Extension, the Forestry Department, the Thai Seed Trade Association, the Plant Breeding and Multiplication Association of Thailand, and the Asia Pacific Seed Association, will hold the 17th National Plant Seeds Symposium during 22 - 24 June 2021 at Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Hantra Campus, Ayutthaya Province. The conference will host researchers, academics, and the private sector with the aim of growing Thailand into a global “Seed Hub”. Topics will include information on research and development of seed technology, the direction and framework for seed research for use in the seed industry, and how seed research institutions can solve the problems experienced by the Thai seed industry.

That is all for Event Updates. Now let me throw the mic to Steven for some Seed Industry News.

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Sponsorship & Advertising opportunities

As part of APSA’s digitalization and digitization strategy, in 2021 we’re offering active members even more ways to directly reach Asia-Pacific seed industry decision makers directly -- in their inbox, on their desktop PCs, laptops, smartphone, tablets, and phablets alike,  through our exciting new affiliate, sponsorship, marketing, communication,  advertising and publicity opportunities. 

So, come learn about our dynamic, new and improving digital channels and communication tools, which will help you engage and impress thousands of APSA members and other seed industry stakeholders more efficiently and effectively, whether to build brand awareness, affiliation or corporate identity, or to attract and drive specific audiences directly to you, your services and products, we can assist you! 

In sum, our 2021 ‘New Normal’ offerings include: 

  • Hyperlinked logos on select content pages on our website
  • Exposure and publicity opportunities through our  social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Sponsorship spotlights in our newsletter, podcast, virtual events and online calendar, and
  • We’re still offering conventional marketing and communication tools through advertisements and advertorials in our e-Magazine, which will continued to be published quarterly basis

See see our media kit and rate sheet below for specifics, and for inquiries don’t hesitate to email Bobbie (, Steven ( or Jerry (




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Seed Industry News

Spotlight News

Global supply chains glitch from shipping incidents: Agitating an already-stressed global supply chain have been recent noteworthy shipping-lane incidents, which highlight just how vulnerable international cargo …

Sustainable production, plant breeding book from US, EU seed sector stakeholders: A new book, released by the Institute on Science for Global Policy and organized with support from the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and Euroseeds, has been published. ...

ISHI-Veg updates tomato seed Pepino mosaic virus detection method: The International Seed Health Initiative for Vegetable Crops (ISHI-Veg) has published the latest revised edition for ‘Detection of Pepino mosaic virus in Tomato Seed’ … 

ToBRFV: first trial results confirm high resistance level: Enza Zaden has published details about one of its tomato varieties that has shown “High Resistance” or HR to tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV). …

Details on these on our international seed industry news page

Aussie appointed as new OECD Secretary-General: Mr. Mathias Cormann of Australia will be the next Secretary General, starting 1 June 2021. His appointment was made on March 15 by the OECD Council ...

Shortage of farm labor as food inflation looms: With a serious shortage of migrant workers, farm operators are considering not to plant as usual this year, which could cause the price of fresh produce to surge by a factor of 10. ...

New PEQ facility to expidite seed quarantine, research: A new $4 million Post-Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility was opened in Horsham. The PEQ facility, which is part of the Australian Grains Genebank – the national centre for preserving grain crop genetic resources in Australia, was inaugurated … 

ASF March newsletter updates: The Australian Seed Federation March 2021 Newsletter includes updates from the ASF Board’s first meeting of 2021; registration for Seed Business 2021 and welcomes back Alysha Lockley … 

More details on these and other stories in the Australia seed industry news page

Onion seed black gold in Faridpur: Onion seeds are being likened to “black gold”  in the district of Faridpur, where farmers are reaping a bumper harvest and high returns. At this time, onion seed farmers in ...

Bumper paddy harvest at Tambulkhana Seed Farm: A paddy seed farmer in Faridpur expects a bumper harvest for its early-maturing, high yielding variety. … 

Turning to veg seed farming in Jivannagar: Seed farmers in Chuadanga's Jivannagar Upazila are increasingly shifting from growing conventional vegetables to seed farming …

More on these and more in Bangladesh seed industry news

ToBRFV among five new plant quarantine pests on radar: China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has urged for increased risk-assessment surveillance concerning several crop pests. …

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 … 

China’s first insurance scheme for vegetable seed producers launched in Zhejiang: Headquartered in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, Ningbo Weimeng Seed Industry recently signed an agreement with PICC Property & Casualty to insure “seed production and quality”. … 

Dalian Airport customs opens a green channel for imported seeds and seedlings: After receiving many applications from companies wishing to import original seeds and seedlings, customs at Dalian Zhoushuizi Airport have opened a green channel for imported seeds and seedlings … 

Nationwide inspections of spring seed markets: In an effort to prevent infringement of intellectual property and the production and sale of fake and inferior seeds ... 

See all China seed industry news here

Best private sector extension award:  East-West Seed India has been awarded the Best Private Sector Extension Service Award by the India Agri-Extension Awards 2021 … 

Telangana to launch India's First QR Code seed tracing system: Following on from the Ministry of Agriculture's announcement of the adoption of a traceability system in 2019 to help secure the supply of quality seed for farmers, Telangana plans on utilising a Quick Response (QR) code for seeds … 

Farmers continue to sow illegal HTBT cotton seeds: A farmers' union in Maharashtra has warned that farming of the unapproved HTBt cotton strain will account for over 50% of the cotton farmed in the state this kharif season … 

Over 5.6 million hectares of Kharif rice sown so far: With 48% of winter crops harvested farmers have slowly begun planting summer (kharif) crops such as rice across the country … 

These stories in more on Indian seed industry news page

Herb firm to develop superior spice seeds: Sido Muncul, one of the largest producers of herbal medicine in Indonesia, is investing in research to develop superior spice seeds. … 

Deficit of maize as prices soar: Based on a corn supply-demand assessment covering the first five months of 2021,  a deficit of corn in April and May this year has caused the price of the staple crop to soar ...

Sinjai aims to become hybrid maize hub: The Sinjai Regency Government and Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture's Cereal Research Institute have entered into  a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ...

These stories and more on our Indonesian seed industry page

Japanese strawberries in high demand: Strawberry exports continued to climb with exports reaching 493 tons and surpassing 1 billion yen in value for the month of February. ...

Rice planting season underway in Ibaraki: Planting has begun for the prefecture's early rice cultivar, Hitachi 29. On April 10th, planting of seedlings by rice transplanter began in …

Varieties prohibited from export under revised Seedling Law: A list of varieties banned from export under the revised Seedling Law was announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. … 

Critics speak out against promotion of organic farming: The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, has set targets to that by 2050, to reduce the amount of chemical pesticides used by 50%, the use of chemical fertilizers by 30%, and to … 

New “F1 Diva” variety set to make its debut: Takii & Co. will release a new colour in its popular petunia "F1 Diva" series named "F1 Diva Pink Lip", which boasts an impressive cute pink color … 

These and more on our Japan seed industry news page

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and others: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. … 

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% … 

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format … 

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. … 

These stories and more on Korea seed industry news page

Vegetable crops destroyed by hail in Dhankuta: Already suffering from a prolonged drought this year, farmers in Dhankuta were further devastated by hail that destroyed totally 1,210 hectares in ...

This and more in Nepal seed industry news

Smith Seeds appoints new GM, prepares for future growth: New Zealand’s Smith Seeds has promoted Dayle Jemmett as General Manager … The company has also released conceptual designs for its new office and warehouse in the Ashburton Business Estate … 

Horticulture sector labor shortage, losses loom: Horticulture farm and orchard operators are warning that the industry may suffer significant losses due to the shortage of labor.  ...

Homegrown milling wheat shake-up: New Zealand’s home-grown milling wheat breeding and production industry has expressed concern about anticipated impacts of “significant adjustments to the trading dynamics”. ...

NZGSTA March/April newsletter: A number of important New Zealand seed industry updates are covered in the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association’s latest newsletter …

These and more on New Zealand seed industry news

Favorable weather, seed subsidy for good Punjab crop: A ‘better’ cotton crop this year is expected thanks to favorable weather and seed subsidies. ...

Govt prepares certified cotton seed, MSP: A cotton minimum support price will be announced in the near future to “bring maximum land under cotton cultivation”. … 

Read more on Pakistan seed industry news

Seeds of four fiber hemp varieties offered for sale: The Highland Research and Development Institute (HRDI) will be offering for sale to its partners and the general public seeds of four hemp (non-psychoactive cultivar of Cannabis sativa) varieties … 

Rice seed inspectors dispatched:  Some 257 ‘rice seed inspectors’ have been dispatched to conduct inspections of rice seed retailers and traders across the kingdom … 

Varietal purity AI analysis of rice seeds has 85% accuracy: Promising research results for using Artificial Intelligence to analyze rice varietal purity … 

Chia Tai Receives Q Mark Certifying Product Safety and Standards:  Chia Tai Company Limited recently acquired “Q Mark” food safety certification from the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity & Food Standards (ACFS). …

Thai RD distributes paddy for planting: Thailand’s Rice Department prepared  1,396 kilograms of paddy seed, including five popular Thai rice varieties, distributing 366,000 sacks of paddy through its network of Rice Communities. … 

These and more on Thailand seed industry news

PSIA President, past APSA president knighted by Dutch government: The Philippine Seed Industry Association’s, Dr. Marry Ann Sayoc, has been knighted by the Dutch government in the Order of Orange-Nassa.   … 

DA lauds ABC, other companies for the Gulayan sa Syudad project success: The Philippines Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary, William Dar has commended Allied Botanical Corporation and other company members of the Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA) …  

Read more on the Philippines seed industry news

Ag mechanization equipment procured in Bitlis: A new project to support farmers by improving the infrastructure of crop production and to establish a machinery and equipment park in Ahlat and Güroymak districts of Bitlis province. …. 

Taşköprü garlic gets GI protection in the EU: The famed white garlic produced in the  Taşköprü district of Kastamonu is now registered and granted Geographic Indication (GI) protection in the European Union. ...

Certified seed support for Bingol farmers: Seeds for dry beans and chickpeas with a 75% subsidy were recently distributed to farmers in Bingöl. … 

Potato, onion and paddy procurement: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has announced an initiative to purchase from producers potatoes and dried onions, which have been in surplus. ...

Seed sieving and disinfection facility in Çorum: Plans to build a new seed sieving and disinfection facility for the Çorum Chamber of Agriculture were announced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. ...

Forage seed distribution in Adana: The distribution of donated seeds commenced in Adana, including in Aladağ, Ceyhan, Feke, İmamoğlu, Karaisalı, Kozan, Sarıçam, Tufanbeyli, Yumurtalık and Yüreğir districts, where a total of 19 tons of silage corn, feed soy, alfalfa and vetch seeds were supplied and distributed. ...

These and more on Turkey seed industry news page

Soc Trang purple onion surplus: The People's Committee of Vinh Chau town (Soc Trang province) have resolved to relieve farmers of a massive surplus of purple onions… 

Vinaseed revenue, profits increase in Q1: The Joint Stock Company of Vietnam National Seed Corporation, or Vinaseed, has released its Q1 / 2021 quarterly financial statements. ...

Orchid production and trade association formed: The recent establishment of the Vietnam Orchids Production and Trading Association is hoped to bolster orchid business sustainability. ...

New high-yielding rice variety promising: The newly released OM 468 rice variety, was developed through research cooperation between the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute and ThaiBinh Seed. … 

Leaf mosaic infected cassava destroyed: Some 180 hectares of cassava crop infected with leaf mosaic virus in Quy Chau will be destroyed.  ...

Duc Tho’s Summer 2021 planting master plan:  For  the summer-autumn crop this year, Duc Tho district’ (Ha Tinh) planting master plan was revealed: It includes both conventional and organic rice field commercial and trial production … 

Vinaseed varieties popular on Quang Ngai farms: High-yielding, disease-resistance rice varieties from Vinaseed Group are in demand by farmers in Quang Ngai. … 

ThaiBinh’s high-yielding rice in Khanh Hoa: ThaiBinh Seed Group Joint Stock Company’s rice variety TBR225  continues to deliver high yields in the fields in Khanh Hoa. … 

These and more in Vietnam seed industry news


The above are only a sample of what’s new. For more of all the latest news updates from around the region, visit our respective news portals by country:

Seed Industry News by country in alphabetical order








Korea, South





New Zealand








Central Asia

Middle East




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Asian Seed magazine Vol. 27 No.1 (Quarter 1, 2021)


This issue is packed with interesting and timely content. In addition to our quarterly addresses from the President and Executive Director, which include important updates from the Executive Committee and APSA Secretariat.

We’ve compiled some seed industry news from around the region and world, and there’s also some exclusive content from members and sponsors. Among these include updates from our seed association contributors, and some member companies, including a  story from Chia Tai about the launch of new packaging for their Home Garden and urban gardening line; We have an exclusive interview with the new CEO of East-West Seed, revealing details about the company’s leadership, strategy and positioning moving forward. Furthermore, there’s a feature story about CGIAR’s Excellence in Breeding platform, as well as an exclusive interview with the OECD about their Seed Scheme, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition, we have updates from all of APSA’s technical activities, projects and initiatives, including summaries from our last AGM, and seed association meeting. There’s an introduction to all of our current EC members and a list of upcoming events. The cover feature is a comprehensive overview of plant cultivation history, trends and technology, covering everything from general systems such as vertical farming, container farms and plant factories to specific systems and arrays including the difference between hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics. You don’t want to miss this. APSA members have exclusive 2-week lead access to the magazine, with the download link and password included in your email. The public edition will be published later in April.

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