Quality Seed | Quality Life
August 2021 Newsletter
Welcome all to the August 2021 APSA newsletter and podcast. We hope that everyone is remaining healthy and happy as the seasons begin to shift.
First of all, we’d like to thank nominees who submitted their nomination form for the executive committee election. It is unfortunate that we are unable to organize our congress physically this year. Nonetheless, we are preparing an important program for meetings and sessions online from 22 - 24 November for which our team will keep you posted.
We will have important announcements during our sessions with the Special Interest Group of Vegetable and Ornamental and Special Interest Group of Field Crops: we will find out about the “most influential plant breeding researchers in the APAC region”. Another important announcement will be in regards to the recognition award for the most influential plant pathologist in APAC, which is nominated specially by our APSA executive committee, together with the Standing Committee on International Trade and Quarantine. We are thankful for all the hard work put in by all committee members during the selection process.
Next, we would like to start welcoming the universities under the University Connect program. For this, we have received a great response and support from our National Seed Associations in Bangladesh, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, India and China. Some Universities have already sent their lecturers and students to participate in our webinars. We hope this program will help to sustain agriculture through the power of youth.
We have great updates from our technical committees, outlined below. We are pleased to welcome Mr. Fabirce Mattei to our Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights and Biodiversity, as well as Dr. Conrado Balatero as the newest member of the R & D Advisory Group.Speaking of the R&D Advisory Group, we are really thankful for the leadership of Dr. Simon De Hoop under his term as a chair of the R & D advisory group, and wish him all the best in his coming endeavors. We have seen many great programs done by this group recently including ASCRT webinars, and look forward to much more. More details on these are outlined below in Technical Affairs updates, as well as on all of our upcoming programs and events.
We’d also like to thank all sponsors who have contributed to our virtual technical sessions. If you are interested in becoming one of our sponsors, please feel free to contact Bobbie through Komsak@apsaseed.org or Mike@apsaseed.org
THANK YOU to our digital media sponsors
The World Vegetable Center proposed the dates for the Bitter gourd Field Day to be held in December this year or January 2022. Whereas, the proposed physical field day in 2022 is to be conducted on 9th May for 2021 consortium members and the annual consortium workshop (hybrid style: physical+virtual) for 2022 consortium members is proposed to be held on 10th May 2022. Following the proposed dates, the R&D group is planning to arrange the ASCRT Field Day from 11th to 13th May. A formal letter has been written to IIHR and as soon as the dates are finalized, the details of the program with the agenda will be shared with the consortium members. R&D members also took another initiative of collaborating with other academies and institutes to arrange exclusive training courses for the employees of APSA members companies. More details on these courses will be shared in upcoming months.
SC Seed Technology had a meeting on August 17th to discuss several topics. Starting from the survey summary of APSA Seed Technology Webinar 2, with total 410 registration which included 204 auto registered accounts from APSA Seed Technology webinar 1. There were 164 attendees joining the webinar from 52 entities (44 APSA members and 8 universities/stakeholders). All speakers received more than 90% of satisfaction from their presentations and 88-90% for their Q&A.
The committee also finalized the upcoming APSA Seed Technology Webinar 3, which will be held on September 15. The committee is very proud to invite the two outstanding speakers, Mr. Alan Gaul - Seed Conditioning Specialist, ISU Seed Science Center, Iowa State University and Mr. Tim Loeffler - Business Owner, Seed Vigor Consulting LLC to give presentations under the theme of PHYSICAL & PHYSIOLOGICAL SEED UPGRADING. More details on how to register below. Finally, there will be an exciting event during the Seed Technology virtual technical session on Nov 22. Stay tuned!
SC IPR & Biodiversity met on August 24 and warmly welcomed a new member, Mr Fabrice Mattei from Rouse & Co. International (Thailand) Ltd. Mr Fabrice has three decades background in Intellectual Property matters. He has been particularly working with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on drafting biodiversity legislation in Southeast Asia and serves as the Advisory Member to the European Patent Office (EPO). He wishes to use his experience to contribute to APSA SC IPR&Biodiversity Committee and is very glad to be in this group.
During the meeting, the committee also updated on a few topics such as Essentially Derived Variety (EDV) update from the working group, Survey on farmers rights and plant breeders rights update and PVP toolbox program by Naktuinbouw. They also had discussion on DSI and biodiversity and the multilateral system (MLS) of Access and benefit sharing in ITPGRFA.
Besides, we are happy to inform you that APSA has been invited to join the East Asia Plant Variety Protection (EAPVP) forum for the first time. The 14th EAPVP meeting will be held on September 1st.
Last but not least, the committee is also planning on the programs for APSA Virtual Technical Session for IPR & Biodiversity, so stay tuned.
SC International Trade and Quarantine met on August 25 with a lot of topics for review and discussion. Starting with the Outcome of the 7th Phytosanitary expert consultation, the report for which is under review. Next, we have had some phytosanitary updates from China and Turkey, as well as an update of Seed Law Amendment for local seed production in Pakistan. The committee and APSA Secretariat are working on draft talking points for these topics.
On another note the APSA recognition award for the most influential plant pathologist/entomologist was closed for application on August 15th and the nomination is under review. For APSA social media campaign “Join us to celebrate the International Year of Plant Health”, the campaign is still open until the end of this year to recognize entomologists / plant pathologists and field inspectors whose work ensures companies can deliver clean seeds to farmers in the Asia-Pacific region. This may include growers who produce clean seeds for seed companies in the Asia-Pacific region. We have already published a few pathologists on social media, and strongly encourage you to tell your colleagues and get in touch with us.
Besides, I am happy to inform you that the draft agenda for APSA Virtual Technical Session in November is almost finalized. SC ITQ committee worked very fast on this to ensure serving you interested topics to support international seed trade.
Last but not least, the Working Group of Standard and Trade Development Facility Project Proposal Grant has been meeting weekly to submit the draft for STDF grant in September. And that is the update from SC ITQ!
SIG Field Crops has been working tediously this month with several events. The first event was APSA Train the Trainers’ program for seed production practices focusing on IP protection, which was held on August 20th. The training was conducted based on the signed Code of Conduct on Section 3 to create awareness and understanding amongst employees of APSA SIG Field Crops companies about the importance of germplasm security. The trainees have a commitment to conduct a training to share the information to colleagues in their own companies to create an awareness in IP protection focusing on seed production practice for field crops within 6 months.It was an extensive training with 17 representatives joining.
The second event of SIG Field Crops this month was the first APSA Field Crops webinar held on August 26th under the theme of Breeding to Adapt with the Changing Climate. Mr Montree Kongdang rocked the session on the topic of Double Haploid (DH) Technology in Corn while Dr B.M. Prasanna gave a very impressive presentation on the topic of Breeding and Deploying Climate-Resilient Maize Varieties: Prospects for Asia. It was a very successful session as we received lots of questions and interest from attendees.
The committee had a meeting on August 10th to discuss the upcoming events namely Field Crops webinar 2 and APSA virtual technical session for field crops in November. So stay tuned for more details!
The Special Interest Group on Vegetables and Ornamentals or SIG Veg & Orn met on 19 August. Following the resignation of Dr. Shupeng Yan as Co-chair position of the SIG Veg&Orn, preposition to appoint APSA EC member,Dr. Sumitra Kantrong as the new Co-chair was put forth and approved. Furthermore, the group reviewed the progress of R&D Advisory Committee and the Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Seed Companies or WIC, and progress for the upcoming APSA virtual technical sessions, under the umbrella of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV). The technical session of SIG V&O group will be held on November 24 at 3-5pm Bangkok time. The details of the agenda and the speakers will be announced soon. The objective of this session is to create awareness of the importance of fruits and vegetables as the source of vitamins and minerals. Now I will share the updates from the sub-committees:
The Working Group of Integrated Vegetable and Seed Companies: In recent developments, the agenda for the Train the Trainers 2021 program has been finalized. The theme for the program is “ Intellectual property rights protection and clean seed production”. The Secretariat has called out to the WIC members to nominate two participants per company to attend the training. Moreover, the follow-up webinar for the WIC participants who attended the 2020 Train the Trainers program has also been finalized. It will be held under the PVP toolbox program, funding for which has been approved by Naktuinbouw to arrange training through a webinar on 8th October 2021 for Thailand and the Philippines in collaboration with UPOV. Mike, from the communications team, will share more details on both programs. The APSA Secretariat has also started to prepare for the WIC meeting in November 2021. For the University Connect project, the National Seed Associations of Bangladesh, the Philippines and Thailand have nominated universities and we are in communication with other pilot countries to get more nominations. Once the framework is set amongst participating NSAs, APSA will announce the details of the program by the end of this year. More updates on the upcoming WIC meeting will be shared in the next podcast.
Disease Resistance Terminology Working Group: The DRT members will start to conduct the resistance trials of Powdery mildew on bitter gourd as soon as all the DRT members receive the bitter gourd seeds, probably in September 2021. Moreover, the DRT members will have a meeting on 2nd September 2021 where they will discuss the progress of the bitter gourd project and will plan for the next crop and disease to identify the differential hosts. So, more updates to come in the next podcast.
The R&D Advisory Group met on 23 Aug. Dr. Simon Jan de Hoop, the Chair or R&D group is stepping down due to a change in his position in his company. R&D members appreciate Dr. Simon’s contributions as Chair. Therefore, in the September meeting of R&D, a new Chair will be elected. Aside from this, a new member will be joining the R&D AG. Dr. Conrado H. Balatero, who is Group Breeding Manager at East-West Seeds. He brings more than 35 years of relevant work experience and exposure in the vegetable seed sector, including 16 years of breeding experience in the public sector as a vegetable plant breeder. The R&D AG group is excited to welcome Dr. Conrado as he will bring much value to the group.
That is all on organizational matters in the R&D group. Next let’s talk about the technical matters. The nomination process for the “Recognition award for most influential plant breeding researchers” program has been closed. The awardees will be announced during the Technical Sessions in November. The 5th webinar of the ASCRT series was held on Wednesday 11th August with 192 attendees in total. APSA also invited the participants from the participating universities of the University Connect project. The 6th webinar of the ASCRT series is scheduled to be held in October and the announcement will be made during 1st week of September.
SEED TECHNOLOGY WEBINAR – SESSION 3
On Wednesday the 15th of September 2021, APSA will be holding the 3rd Session of the Seed Technology Webinar Series, this time focusing on Physical and Physiological Seed Upgrading. The webinar will feature 2 guest speakers; Mr. Alan Gaul, Seed Conditioning Specialist from Iowa State University who will discuss on Physical Upgrading Principles for Maize and Vegetable Seed and Mr. Tim Loeffler of Seed Vigor Consulting who will talk on Physiological Upgrading (Covering from Basic to Advance). Once again, participation is free for all APSA Members but pre-registration is required. For more details, please visit the official Event Webpage. CLICK
FIELD CROPS WEBINAR – SESSION 2
On Tuesday the 5th of October 2021, APSA will be holding Session 2 of the Field Crops Webinar Series, focusing on Market Development Strategy. Agenda and guest speakers are still being finalized, but if you are interested in joining, registration will open early September. Participation is free for all APSA Members but pre-registration is required. For more details, please visit the official Event Webpage. CLICK
UPOV PVP TOOLBOX TRAINING (INVITE ONLY)
This program, which was approved and supported by Naktuinbouw for arranging a training webinar for the National Seed Associations of Thailand (THASTA) and Philippines (PSIA) on 8th October 2021 under a collaboration with UPOV. Before the webinar is organized, THASTA and PSIA will nominate 25 members in total to attend the full e-learning course. This online course consists of different modules and participates in the questionnaire arranged by the organizers. There will be an online meeting between the attendees and the organizers on 23rd September, where the attendees will be given instructions on attending the modules on the e-learning platform. Upon completion of the modules, the 25 attendees will be required to respond to the questionnaire. And on October 8, the webinar will be open for anyone to attend from THASTA and PSIA. Therefore, on this day, all the attendees of the APSA TTT 2020 program who responded to the post-training survey questionnaire will be invited to attend this webinar. APSA secretariat will share the material with the WIC and FC participants and the participants will be encouraged to arrange the training in their companies.
SIG VEGETABLES & ORNAMENTALS: TRAIN THE TRAINERS PROGRAM (INVITE ONLY)
APSA will also be holding the SIG Vegetables and Ornamentals: Train the Trainers Program on the 19th and 20th of October 2021. On October 19, there will be 2 guest speakers, Mr. Michel Devarrewaere, Chair APSA SIG Vegetables and Ornamentals and Mr. Grant Smith, Managing Director at Smith Seeds, New Zealand, talking about the Best Practices in Seed Production for IP Protection. Whereas on October 20, Dr. Sumitra Kantrong, Co-chair APSA SIG Vegetables and Ornamentals and Dr. Petcharat Thummabenjapone, Associate Prof. at Khon Kaen University, Thailand will talk about Best Practices on Clean and Healthy Seed Production. The training is invite-only, specifically for the WIC members, where 2 participants per company are allowed. There will be a pre-evaluation survey questionnaire to get the understanding and expectations of the participants about the subject so that the trainers can plan their materials accordingly. All the participants will be required to conduct the training in their companies within 6 months after the training and share a report with APSA secretariat.
ASIAN SOLANACEOUS & CUCURBITS ROUND TABLE (ASCRT) – SESSION 6
On Wednesday the 27th of October 2021, APSA will be holding Session 6 of the Asian Solanaceous & Cucurbits Round Table Webinar Series (ASCRT). Agenda and guest speakers are still being finalized, but if you are interested in joining, registration will open late September. Participation is free for all APSA Members but pre-registration is required. For more details, please visit the official Event Webpage. CLICK
AFRICAN SEED TRADE ASSOCIATION (AFSTA) CONGRESS 2021
The African Seed Trade Association will hold their annual congress this year in Mombasa, Kenya from the 27th to the 30th of September 2021. The AFSTA Congress will feature a Trading Table area, Exhibition Booths, plenary sessions and committee meetings, a workshop on Seed Treatment and social events such as the Opening Ceremony, Reception Cocktail and Gala Dinner. Registration is now open and can be done easily on-line. Any registration done before the 15th of September can benefit from the discounted early bird registration fee. For more details and for registration, please visit their official Event Webpage: https://www.afsta.org/congress/
KOREAN SEED EXPO 2021
The KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 will be held online from October 6 to November 2! We hope many people will show a lot of interest in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will feature all the latest products, services and innovation from Korean seed companies, agricultural machine, and agricultural material companies. Come and find out about various varieties, genetic resources, and field crops of the seed companies in the demonstration field of K-Seed Valley. For more details, please visit www.koreaseedexpo.com
EUROSEEDS CONGRESS 2021
Organizers are happy to announce that all lights are green for the Euro Seed Congress 2021, which will be held both in-person and virtually from the 18th – 20th of October 2021 in Prague, Czech Republic. All necessary precautions will be taken to assure that participants can confidently enjoy a buzzing, vibrant and engaging Congress in a safe and protected environment. Access to the conference venue will be strictly controlled and restricted to pre-registered attendees with vaccination certificate, negative pre-departure antigen or PCR test before arrival or proof of recovery from a covid infection. In addition, all non-vaccinated persons will be required to get daily test before being allowed entry to the Congress. Participation for the Euroseeds 2021 Congress is possible for Euroseeds Members as well as non-Members, for both in-person or on-line registration. For more details, please visit www.euroseedscongress.com
UC DAVIS PLANT BREEDING ACADEMY
The Seed Biotechnology Center at the University of California, Davis has organized a professional development course to teach the principles of plant breeding to seed industry personnel. This two-year course addresses the reduced numbers of plant breeders being trained in academic programs. Participants meet at UC Davis for six sessions over two years. Readings and exercises continue between sessions via the internet to allow participants to maintain their current positions while being involved in the course.
The course is targeted toward personnel currently involved in plant breeding programs who lack the academic background in genetics theory and practice to advance as independent breeders, and to current breeders who desire a refresher course or would like to broaden their expertise. The goal of this course is to develop the skills and abilities of current industry personnel to enable them to become independent breeders or more valuable contributors to larger breeding programs.
Originally, the course was set to begin in September of 2020 and run through June of 2022. However, due to the COVID pandemic, the initiation of PBA VIII is now delayed with plans to start in the Fall of 2021.
If you are interested in participating and applying for the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy Course, please click on the following link for more details. http://pba.ucdavis.edu/Programs/PBA_in_Davis-Class_VIII/
CHINA SEED RELATED EVENTS
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:
Wanted: Papers, experts on seed testing for ‘Quality Seed for Sustainable Agriculture’: The International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) is calling for paper submissions ahead of its next Seed Symposium in conjunction with the 33rd ISTA Congress , scheduled to be held in Christchurch, New Zealand from 4-6 May, 2022. . .
APAC-focused gene editing webinar series on demand: The Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) in association with Korea Biosafety Clearing House (KBCH) and Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL)recently organized a webinar series on “Applications of Gene Editing in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Asia-Pacific Region” to address “a need for science-based, predictable and proportionate regulations. . .
Ramping up ToBRFV monitoring: Plant protection authorities across Europe have increased surveillance for Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus or ToBRFV, coinciding with detection in various countries in recent months. . . .
BSPB launches new website, payment portal: The British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) has chosen to “breathe new life into the visual identity of organisation” with the launch of a refreshed logo and website.
EWS welcomes new R&D chief: East-West Seed is pleased to introduce Katalin Pákozdi, who from August 16 started as the company’s new Chief R&D Officer, and Managing Board member.
Food Price Index up 31% year-on-year: Though the Food Price Index (FFPI) of the Food and Agriculture Organization saw a slight month-on-month drop of 1.5 points (1.2%) its average of 123 points still represents a 29.1 point (31$) increase from July 2020. . . .
Pandemic increases global hunger: report: The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 (SOFI 2021) report highlights that 811 million people, or nearly one-tenth of the world population went hungry in 2020. . .
ISF elects Second Vice President: APSA would like to congratulate Arthur Santosh Attavar, who was formally elected as ISF Second Vice President during the ISF General Assembly on 8 July.
Details on these on our international seed industry news page
Preserving seeds threatened by ‘Black Summer’ bushfires: A dozen plant species threatened with endangerment by the 2019-2020 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires that engulfed swathes of the Namadgi and Kosciuszko national parks will be protected . . .
Best rains, evolution spur wildflower seas in Mid West: A bumper wildflower season in the Mid West region of Western Australia is credited to more than the ‘best wet winter rains in years’.. . .
WA Farmers re-seeding fields with cover crops: Though a bumper harvest has been forecast for Western Australia in 2021, some farmers on the south coast of the state this August have reseeded crops lost to water damage. . .
Illegally imported seed poses risk to Australian agriculture: Biosecurity authorities have warned against ordering online seeds from overseas after detecting vegetable and fruit viruses in a “majority” of seeds imported for testing and research purposes.” . . .
AI solution to assist in seeding, on-farm decisions: Climate AI, a climate science startup from San Francisco in the US state of California, has joined forces with Pacific Seeds in Toowoomba and Goanna Ag in Goondiwindi to launch an on-farm decision making tool for Australian growers. . . .
More details on these and other stories in the Australia seed industry news page
Relief potatoes urged as surplus coincides with low prices: Letters from agriculture ministry urge to include potatoes in disaster relief packages, citing a surplus of the tuber vegetable. . . .
Jute exports up as production falls short of expectation: Despite a record turnover in FY 2020-2021 from the export of jute fiber products, farmers are reportedly growing disinterested in the cultivation of the crop. . . .
Lockdowns, bad weather stressing vegetable farmers: Excessive rains and lockdown restrictions are causing stress and concern for vegetable farmers in the marshland areas of Nazirpur and Nesarabad upazilas, as well as Barishal's Banaripara upazila. . . .
BINA awarded for nuclear breeding: Dr Shamsun Nahar Begum, chief scientific officer of the Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA), has been honored with the "Women in Plant Mutation Breeding Award” . . .
Bagerhat crops destroyed by excessive rain: Excessive rain at the end of July wreaked havoc on cropland in Bagerhat, causing damage to seedbeds, Aman paddy, vegetables, betel leaf and other crops. . . .
Kurigram, Lalmonirhat paddy farmers distressed by rain shortage: Aman paddy farmers in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat were in distress by a lack of rainfall to nourish their rain-fed crop. . . .
More on these and more in Bangladesh seed industry news
Rainy season rice cultivation exceeds target: Rainy season rice has been cultivated on more than 2.6 million hectares, which represents 101.90 of of the annual target. . . .
Rice trials to select ‘non seasonal’ aromatic hybrid rice lines: The Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is promoting the cultivation of "non-seasonal fragrant rice" hybrids. . . .
More on these and more in Cambodia seed industry news
Inner Mongolia wheat varieties: New varieties of wheat are springing new life into the fertile fields of Inner Mongolia. . . .
Seed Law Amendment submitted: Seed Law Amendment submitted: 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. . . .
Imported hamster feed with parasitic seeds intercepted: 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. . . .
Storms ravaged crops: Agriculture across Chinese Taipei was adversely affected by typhoon-induced weather in August 2021, including in Chiayi, Yunli, Taoyuan and Yunlin. . .
Zucchini yellow mosaic virus detected in Urumqi: The Urumqi Customs Technology Center has announced the detection of zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) in exported zucchini seeds . . .
Henan recovers from flood impacts on cropping: Heavy rains and disastrous flooding in Henan has resulted in human casualties and severe impacts on cropping. . . .
Covid blamed for port congestion, rising freight: 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. . . .
China notifies new ToBRFV measures for seed imports: From September 20, stricter ToBRFV phytosanitary measures will apply to tomato and pepper (Capsicum sp.) seeds imported into China. . . .
See all China seed industry news here
Seed bank refurbished: The newly refurnished National Gene Bank at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in New Delhi was upgraded with the latest technology and added capacity to conserve approximately one million germplasm . . .
New Bengal seed gram in AP: A new high-yield and pest resistant variety of Chana (Bengal gram), named Nandyal Bengal Gram 857 (NBeG 857), has been developed by scientists . . .
Mustard seed update: The price of mustard seed has dropped by more than 1% across India. . . .
Natl Seeds Corp meeting underlines quality seed: The importance of producing and distributing affordable quality seed was discussed at a recent meeting of the National Seed Corporation (NSC). . . .
Cotton crop productivity drops: A report from the Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption (CCPC) shows the yield per hectare of Indian cotton has been in decline in the last few years. . . .
These stories in more on Indian seed industry news page
Village in Sumemep to be developed as ‘agropolitan’: The Government of Sumenep regency of the East Java province has announced plans to develop a 10 hectare areas of the Mandala Village in Rubaru District as an agropolitan . . .
Ban on porang seed exports encouraged: A ban on the export of seeds of the Porang plant (Amorphophallus muelleri.) is being touted by politicians in East Java, where Porang has grown in popularity as an alternative food source. . .
Seeds for insecure villages in Bone: The Bone Regency Government has begun converting unused land into productive food production plots as part of pandemic food security efforts. . . .
GM seed potatoes for commercial production: A high-yielding GM-variety of seed potato approved for commercial cultivation is able to output double that of conventional yields . . .
Coconut seeds certified, distributed: Some 25,000 coconut seeds will be certified and distributed to farmers in West Kalimantan as part of efforts to provide quality seeds to increase production in an area spanning 202 hectares. . . .
These stories and more on our Indonesian seed industry page
Hiroshima excess rain, lack of sunshine = shortage of summer veggies: Prices for summer vegetables have risen due to a sharp drop in supply caused by long and heavy rains that have damaged crops. . . .
Shizuoka seed conservation: As part of Shizuoka Prefecture's regional biodiversity strategy, 12 high school students from four high schools in the prefecture embarked on a seed conservation project for endangered species inhabiting the Akaishi Mountains . . .
Japanese grapes become Korean via China: Normally costing over USD 12,000 per bunch and only grown in Ishikawa Prefecture, Ruby Roman grapes have been discovered on sale in South Korea for only around USD 70 per bunch. Another protected Japanese variety, Jewel Muscat that was grown in South Korea, was also found . . .
Fukushima rice and vegetable trials: Vegetable cultivation trials will begin on August 29th in Noyuki district of Fukushima Prefecture. The trials follow on from rice cultivation trials that were already started in May this year. . . .
Read these stories and more in Japan seed industry news
K-seed production: Sales of varieties grown from domestically produced seeds are on the rise according to E-Mart, a leading Korean retailer. . . .
Seed law violation updates: In a recent audit by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs of 1,204 businesses involved in the handling of seeds and seedlings, 30 businesses were found to be in violation of the Seed Industry Act. . . .
Korea’s seed vault: Buried 46 meters underneath a mountain in South Korea, the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum Seed Vault Centre preserves nearly 100,000 seeds from just under 5,000 wild plant species. . . .
Read these stories and more in our Korea seed industry news
Incoming MAFI minister appeals for graduates to get into ag: Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh, the incoming Deputy Minister II of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) has appealed to university graduates to consider careers in modern agriculture. . . .
Relief allocated for restoring kedah croplands destroyed by floods, mud: Following the inundation and destruction of paddy fields by Gunung Jerai (Mount Jerai) mudflows and flooding on August 18, RM1.1 million in relief funds have been allocated for the restoration of 34 hectares of paddy fields. . . .
Funding for Sarawak crops R&D: RM 87 million has been allocated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development towards existing and new agricultural development programmes in Sarawak, including for the development of fruit and vegetable cultivation through fertigation and breeding, . . .
Non-food agriculturalists to be certified: As part of efforts to bolster the agriculture sector, the Malaysian government has targeted a total of 200 non-food crop entrepreneurs who have been registered under the Plant Material Certification Scheme to be certified under the myGAP.TBM programme. . . .
These stories and more in Malaysia seed industry news
Saudi agricultural productivity improves: Production and marketing of fruit and vegetable crops in Saudi Arabia has developed significantly in terms of both quantity and quality . . .
Drought threatens Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Iran agriculture: Access to water, food and electricity for more than 12 million people in Syria and Iraq is under threat . . .
Iran orders 60K tonnes of alfalfa seeds in face of drought-induced fodder shortage: Iran has logged an order to import 60,000 tons of alfalfa seeds from Russia. . . .
Israel Wildflower heritage seed sowing campaign: Israelis are being encouraged by the Jerusalem’s Botanical Gardens to plant native wildflowers . . .
Saudi saltwater farming startup gains seed momentum: Red Sea Farms, which is developing a grow system for crops that relies primarily on saltwater as the primary irrigation input, has raised $16 million seed money . . .
Unrealized potential for organic ag in Iran: An editorial notes that there are already 43,000 ha of certified organic agricultural land in Iran, even though the adoption rate of ‘modern’ organic practices is less than 1% . . .
West Bank agriculture tussle: A tense situation in the West Bank affects agriculture trade . . .
These stories and more in the Middle East
Vegetable relief in Mon State: The Mon Youth Education Group (MYEO) has distributed some 14,500 pounds of crops and vegetables in 26 places of the Mon State as part of covid relief efforts. . . .
Flood inundated monsoon crops as fund reinforces seeds: More than 70,000 acres out of 16.5 million acres of monsoon crops planted this rainy season were reportedly inundated by floods due to heavy rains and high tides since July. . . .
Kayin farmland inundated: In Kyainseikgyi Township, Kayin State, continuous rains since July 20 has caused flooding and landslides . . .
Seeds for covid, conflict relief in Rakhine State: The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations or FAO is utilizing financial support through the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund (MHF) to bolster agriculture and livelihood support to 1,200 landless and highly vulnerable farmers in Maungdaw and Buthiduang Townships of the Rakhine State. . . .
Border veg and fruit trade falls off following border closure: China-Myanmar border trade suffered following the decision on July 8 by China to close all border trade gates, citing detection of Covid-19. . . .
This and more in Myanmar seed industry news
Snap lockdown announced: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the closing of schools, offices, and all businesses except essential services after New Zealand recorded its first positive case of Covid-19 in 6 months. . . .
Antarctic blast blizzard: Near-record levels of snow fell on the ski slopes of the South Island triggering avalanche warnings as snow was reported to fall at sea level in Wellington as an Antarctic blast swept over the country. . . .
PepMV halts tomato export: An outbreak of Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) that began at a greenhouse in Auckland has caused tomato exports to be blocked by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). . .
These and more on New Zealand seed industry news
Pakistan rice to China export potential: Demand for Pakistani rice in China is on the rise according to Pakistan Embassy in Beijing.. . .
Business leaders tout seed importance: seed quality played a vital part in improving agriculture productivity and promoted the benefits of certified seeds for enhancing agriculture productivity due to its higher quality and profitability.. . .
Read more on Pakistan seed industry news
Lockdowns bring closures, uncertainty & fear to fresh markets: Covid associated fear, hysteria and public health measures have spread to local freshmarkets, many of which have been ordered shut following wide reports of local outbreaks . . . .
Consumers stockpiling essential goods: Operators of supermarkets and hypermarkets report that consumers have been stocking up on large quantities of essential goods, which has resulted in shortages of some items. . . .
Chia Tai launches Pakchoy hybrids: Chia Tai Company Limited, Thailand’s leading innovative agricultural company has released Thailand’s first-ever Flowering Pakchoy F1 hybrids: the Flowering Pakchoy Khaonuan and Flowering Pakchoy Pinmorrakot. These two new varieties require fewer seeds but yield twice as much when compared to conventional varieties. . . .
These and more on Thailand seed industry news
Better yields of white and yellow maize in Guimaras: Corn production in the island province of Guimaras during the first quarter of 2021 increased by 32.3% year on year. . . .
Ag growth target revised as palay production on track for doubling: Target growth of the agricultural sector has been revised by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to be 2%, half a percentage point lower than the previously set target. . . .
Read more on the Philippines seed industry news
Emergency phyto measures for tomato, pepper, pumpkin seed imports: Turkey’s General Directorate of Food and Control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has announced new emergency phytosanitary measures for the import of tomato, pepper and pumpkin seeds. . . .
Flooding, fires ravage cropland: Rain-induced flooding and mudslides has devastated infrastructure, farms and communities in the Black Sea coastal provinces of Bartin, Kastamonu, Sinop and Samsun, where floodwaters have risen three to four meters high. . . .
These and more on Turkey seed industry news page
High yielding OP varieties in Binh Dinh: Two demonstrated rice varieties are heat tolerant, disease resistant, and high yielding. . .
Binh Duong bolsters agriculture: Government departments, branches and localities in Binh Duong province are coordinating to tweak agricultural production and consumption plans in response to the ongoing pandemic situation. . . .
Peppercorn planting popular despite volatile market: The Southeast and the Central Highlands are two key regions for the production of peppercorn, which has seen volatile shifts in the market in recent years. . . .
Seed and plant priority transport smuggled corpses: Authorities are prosecuting a 28 year-old truck driver of Vinh Long province accused of taking advantage of priority transport channel to deliver corpses for cremation. . . .
Three new rice varieties for Central Highlands: Three good new rice varieties for cultivation in the Central and Central Highlands provinces have been developed by the Quang Ngai Seed Center. . . .
Proposal to chop wheat and maize import tax: In order to reduce feed input prices, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) has proposed to reduce Most Favored Nation (MFN) import tax of wheat of wheat products (HS: 1001.99.99) and maize (HS: 1005.90.90) products. . . .
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:
Asian Seed magazine Vol. 27 No.2 (Quarter 2, 2021)
This issue is packed with interesting and timely content. In addition to quarterly addresses from the President and Executive Director, which include important updates from the Executive Committee’s recent meeting, there’s a lot of timely featured content selected and prepared specifically with the Asia-Pacific seedsman and women in mind: The cover story encompasses the greater theme of Sustainable Development, shedding light on the background, history and specific agenda to transform all aspects of industry and society in order to meet the 17 Global Goals. What’s more, we also provide the perspective of the seed industry, outline precisely our role and contribution in these concerted efforts. This leads into another feature about nutrition as a foundation for food security, and specifically a break-down of the main vitamin groups -- what they do and which fruits and vegetables contain them.
Beyond this, we’ve got quantitative and qualitative data to analyze the impacts of COVID-19 on the Asia-Pacific seed sector, including questionnaire responses from vegetable and field crop seed companies, plus an analysis of preliminary vegetable seed trade data spanning 2016-2020. And that’s not all! There’s our brand new ‘Smart Ag Tech’ column which features a software engineer who has made the ‘Plant Factory’ model profitable in the tropics; ‘Part 2’ Interview with the OECD Seed Schemes team about their digitization efforts; tributes to our fallen seed heroes; summary reports from all of our recent meetings, committees and workshops, plus links, and calendar of all past and upcoming APSA meetings. Ready to upgrade and grow… your brain? Then login- and download the latest issue now!
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