Newsletter: February 2022

Quality Seed | Quality Life

February 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to APSA’s February 2022 Newsletter! No time to read, download and listen to our podcast. Download here. 

Table of Contents 

Introduction / Address from APSA ED

Welcome everyone to the APSA newsletter and podcast of February 2022! I do wish that everone continues to stay safe and healthy. 

This month, our 2021 Year in Review has been finalized and ready to be downloaded in link below. The report is publicly accessible now so please feel free to share with your network.  We are really looking forward to another exciting year in 2022 with a number of activities planned as relayed to you herein.  

Click image below to open and download 2021 Year in Review


Starting from our first in-person activity in May which is the APSA – WorldVeg consortium workshop for 2021 and for 2022 consortium members and the Asian Solanaceous Round Table or ASRT2022. These two events are being organized as part of a collaboration with IIHR-ICAR, Bangalore, India. The good news is that now everyone is welcome to India without a 7-day quarantine, except those from countries listed by the government in its 7th January 2022. The list may be updated again before our event so please feel free to reach out to our secretariat for the latest updated information or if you have any other questions or concerns on travel regulations for India. The program has been finalized and well planned by our R&D advisory group. Please visit our website to check an update about these 2 programs happening from 9 – 13 May, 2022.  

Registration for all three events is already open, and up-to-date information can be found on our Upcoming Events page, with links to each respective event page here 

Throughout this year, our SIG and SC committee agreed that we should empower the role of women in seeds or women in agriculture, to which you will hear, read and see more updates on our social media channels, including on a recognition campaign to promote and acknowledge contributions from the women in the Asia-Pacific seed sector.  

Moving to a policy advocacy update: we have received an update from our stakeholders in Pakistan regarding the implementation of Amended Rule 4 (10) seed business companies that are working as local seed producer, seed importer and Local Seed  Producer + Seed Importer have to sign a performance contract and submit the performance bond within one year as required by sub rule (8)(a) & (b) of the amended rules.  

This amended rule is scheduled to take effect from 31st July, 2022. Leading up to the confirmation of this new change, APSA has been working with the Seed Association of Pakistan (SAP) to submit recommendations to the Pakistan government, which were outlined in a September 2021 letter. As previously reported, this proposed amendment is anticipated to have major adverse impacts for local seed companies. Thus, APSA together with ISF had submitted our joint letter emphasizing the importance of ensuring farmers have timely access to quality seeds. To ensure that we can achieve this, an enabling policy framework is required to encourage investment by seed companies. APSA, ISF and CropLife Asia therefore will continue to provide support to SAP in communicating to the government the adverse impacts these changes will have.  

We updated you last month regarding China’s newly amended Seed Law, which will come into effect on March 1, 2022, and are pleased to relay that China has really made great progress with respect to plant variety protection and IP enforcement, and there is more progress with the announcement of Gene-Editing Guidelines, covered below. Speaking of gene-editing, also this month, we received another update from CropLife Asia on the first consultation workshop organized by the government with regards to their new guideline for gene editing on 16 February. The Malaysian CropLife and Public Health Association (MCPA), National Seed Association of Malaysia and ISAAA submitted their position relating to the new plant breeding tools, or gene editing technology, which is aligned with that and ISF and APSA’s PBI position paper. More details on these stories and more are in seed industry news section below.   

Thank you very much and again if you have any suggestions on our activities, the key issues you are facing in your seed business and possible collaborations, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at . 


May Chodchoey,
APSA Executive Director



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APSA Membership Coordination Manager 

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2022 Asian Solanaceous Round Table (ASRT 2022)

APSA, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) and Society for Promotion of Horticulture will be holding the 2022 Asian Solanaceous Round Table (ASRT-4) at ICAR-IIHR in Bangalore, India from the 11th - 13th of May 2022. This 3-day event will feature keys topics, such as: Solanaceous Crops: Modern Breeding Techniques & Resistance to Diseases and Pests, Genomics & Genome Editing, Germplasm Diversity and Plant Variety Protection, Breeding for Biotic and Abiotic Stress, The Past and the Future of Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) in Eggplant, Application of AI and Digital Technology for High Throughput Phenotyping, and Breakout Session on Technology Platform Demonstration, Training Needs and PPP. This event is for Active APSA Members ONLY. Registration Fee is only 200 USD per person, with a special 10% Discount given to APSA Member Companies who register more than 5 participants. Please also be advised that any travelers arriving to India will no longer need to quarantine themselves, except for those arriving from the 19 countries specified by the Indian government. For more details regarding event agenda, COVID-19 regulations and for registration, please visit the official event page. (


2022 Asian Seed Congress (ASC 2022)

Finally, after 2 years, APSA and the Thai Seed Trade Association (THASTA) as the official National Organizing Committee, is planning on holding the long-awaited the 2022 Asian Seed Congress (ASC 2022) in Bangkok, Thailand from the 14th to the 18th of November 2022 at the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre. As we are now still in the planning process, more details are to follow soon. So please stay tuned.

That is all for Upcoming APSA Events. Now for some details regarding upcoming seed industry events from around the world.

2022 African Seed Trade Association Congress (2022 AFSTA Congress)

The African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) will hold their annual congress this year in-person from the 27th of February to the 3rd of March 2022 on the beautiful island of Djerba, Tunisia. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for AFSTA Members and NON-AFSTA Members. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, maximum precautions will be observed, and all the directives of the Tunisian Government related to the health measures will be applied as the highest priority is the “SAFETY” of all the delegates. For more details on registration, event agenda, Tunisia Visa Information and COVID-19 Conditions for entry into Tunisia, please visit the official event page. (


China Seed Congress 2022 & Nanfan Agricultural Silicon Valley Forum

China Seed Congress 2022 & Nanfan Agricultural Silicon Valley Forum will be held from the 19th to the 22nd of March 2022 in Sanya, Hainan Province. The China Seed Congress (CSC) is one of the most influential congresses in the seed industry in China and has been successfully held by China Seed Association (CSA) for three sessions in Year 2018, 2019 and 2021. It provides a perfect opportunity for Chinese and foreign scientists and experts in the seed industry to share insights and promote international collaboration. One main forum and 13 special sub-forums will be held at the Congress to discuss the most concerning topics, including interpretation of the newly revised Seed Law of the People’s Republic of China, seed industry innovation, IP protection, the latest R&D progress, Chinese and global trade of seed industry. Leaders of provincial and ministerial level, academicians, experts in seed industry, representatives of international associations like ISF, APSA, UPOV and CropLife will address the main forum or sub-forums as keynote speakers. Media such as CCTV, CNR, People’s Daily, XinHua News and China daily will be invited to the congress. About 2500 participants will attend the congress. For more details, please visit the official event page (


Sustainable Water Management in Agriculture

In most regions of the world, over 70% of freshwater is used for agriculture. The growing demand for agricultural commodities has translated into an increasing pressure on the global freshwater resources. In the upcoming years, no one can be completely sure and predict which direction the water industry will take over the decade. However, it will be beneficial for scholars and industry players to take a closer look at some of the tough scenarios and turn challenges into opportunities and solutions. The International Association for Agriculture Sustainability (IAAS) and the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institution (APAARI) will hold an on-line webinar on Friday the 25th of March 2022 from 9:00 am – 11:00 am (GMT+7) to explore the possible solutions for sustainable water management in agriculture and to exchange ideas and facilitation of partnerships in IAAS events. The Sustainable Water Management in Agriculture is FREE for all to attend, but pre-registration is required. For more details and for registration, please visit the official event page (


2022 International Seed Federation (ISF) World Seed Congress

The International Seed Federation (ISF) has opened registration for its 2022 World Seed Congress, which is scheduled to take place from the 14th to the 18th of May 2022 in Barcelona Spain. Registration will close on 10 May 2022. There is only one registration fee of 1,500 EUR, which will be offered during the entire registration process. The three-day event will feature an exhibition, trading floor, meetings and panel discussions on a host of important topics relevant to the seed sector and beyond, with some parts of the program being offered virtually. For more details on registration, event agenda and sponsorship, please visit the official event page. (


5th China International Import Expo (CIIE)

From the 5th to the 10 of November 2022, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and Shanghai Municipal People's Government will hold the 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is one of China’s first import-themed national-level exhibition which provides great opportunities for foreign enterprises to showcase their products and technology wishing to enter and/or expand their Chinese market. The expo will also feature a forum of relevant government authorities, international organizations, scientific research institutes and representatives of domestic and foreign enterprises, who will come to discuss various topics such as new situations, new technology, new achievements and new equipment of the seed industry field, the establishment of an innovation system of the seed industry from a multi-dimension angle, build a business dialogue platform, advocate the intellectual property protection and focus on the innovative development demands of the seed industry.

If you are interested in joining this event, please visit the official event page for more details on registration (

If you have any questions regarding upcoming APSA events, or if there is anything else, I can assist you with please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Mike Kingapayom

APSA Event Manager

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Public-Private Partnerships

Welcome to Technical Affairs update. As before, let’s start with the APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium.

We are happy to inform you that the registration for 2022 APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding ConsortiumCLICK HERE to learn more about the consortium benefits.) and its Annual Workshop are on going, (in-person or online attendance), please CLICK HERE to register.

This year a special project entitled “Development of Tomato Lines for Resistance to Sucking & Feeding Pests” is being launched under the 2022 APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium with the aims for the seed companies to incorporate insect resistance into tomato cultivars that enable farmers to reduce pesticide use and produce high quality tomatoes. The project is open for registration from Jan 25th to March 31st 2022, Pls click the link here for more details and registration.

In addition, we are happy to announce the Field Demonstration of the 2021 APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium Exclusive Tomato & Pepper Lines will be held on May 9th, 2022 in Bengaluru, India. All 2021 Consortium Members are eligible to participate in this field day. Please click here to learn more about the field demo.

●      To register for the In-person participation to the field day, please CLICK HERE.

●      To register for the online attendance to the presentation sessions of the field day, please CLICK HERE.

If you have any problem or need help from APSA Secretariat, pls contact me


Ms. Xiaofeng Li

APSA Partnership Program Manager

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Technical Affairs Updates

And now an  update on APSA Standing Committees and Special Interest Groups. Following is a summary review of the APSA SC/SIG activities this month:

Starting with an update from our Standing Committee on Seed Technology:  

The committee had a meeting on February 22 to discuss the APSA Seed Academy platform and to consider proposals for a new Learning Management System (LMS) platform to support the launching of APSA’s Seed Academy program this year. The committees also approved two new observers to join the group this year. APSA secretariat will keep all of you posted them.

 Let us move to an update from the Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights and Biodiversity, which is pleased to announce and welcome three new members from Asia: Dr. Gabriel Ortega Romero, Executive Director of the Philippine Seed Industry Association; Dr. Kwanghong Lee, DUS tester, Plant Variety Protection Division, Korea Seed and Variety Service; and Dr. Shivendra Bajaj, Executive Director of the Federation of Seed Industry of India. They will join the next APSA SC IPR & Biodiversity meeting in March. This year our committee will still focus on policy advocacy activity and capacity building programs for countries in APAC in order to promote the importance of plant breeders 'rights, IP protection, Biodiversity and Access and benefit sharing which is relating to Digital Sequence Information.

Next is an update from the Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine:

Apart from the policy advocacy update from Pakistan that Dr May mentioned earlier, the committee has been keeping engaged, exchanging updates via email on various policy changes in Asia and Pacific countries and coordinating with seed associations and stakeholders to emphasize on the importance of ensuring accessibility of quality seeds for farmers and for global food security. Besides, the working group (ISF, APSA, APAARI and CropLife Asia) for WTO’s Standard and Trade Development Facility (STDF) grant proposal relating to PPP on phytosanitary harmonization has worked diligently to ensure the proposal is complete and the letter of support is received from all participating countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Philippines, and Bangladesh). The proposal has been submitted to STDF secretariat already and we are looking forward to hearing a positive update soon.

Next is an update from SIG Field Crops: this month the APSA Secretariat has been following up on action points from the first meeting. The committee is recruiting new members to join and has started preparing on the webinar organization for SIG Field crops. If anyone of you would like to propose a topic,  please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.

Next, the Special Interest Group on Vegetables and Ornamentals or SIG Veg & Orn is still active in emails communication although they did not have a committee meeting this month. From the first meeting, a number of interesting initiatives were suggested for sub-groups to work on, for example, the idea to recognize women in science for APSA Recognition Award and the university connect program implementation. We look forward to having the next committee meeting next month.

The Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Seed Companies or WIC has been working on several programs' implementation including the preparation on the Cucurbit Disease Management Workshop, University Connect Program and more importantly the upcoming WIC meeting in April. The Chair and Co-Chair also will have a catch-up meeting with APSA Secretariat to prepare the agenda in March.

The R&D Advisory Group had a meeting in the last week of February to finalize the Asian Solanaceous Round table (ASRT) speakers and to start planning for the Asian Cucurbit Round table (ACRT), which both will be physical events as Mike has mentioned. The group also reviewed a second survey result of APSA Training Course for Plant Breeders. This is a second survey which is developed from the first result we received from 109 responses from participants who attended the 2021 ASCRT webinars. Besides, the group also reviewed a collaborative research proposal. We hope our members can meet in-person during these two programs for breeders and seed technology.

The Disease Resistance Terminology Working Group or DRT is working on the formation of tomato and watermelon sub-groups in this month. The group also reviewed the pathogen codes and differential hosts information. The next step will be to have a discussion with the International Seed Federation to review the pathogen that the sub-groups will work on. Last year, APSA DRT WG has worked on the Pest Codes of: Luffa acutangula (ridge gourd), Luffa cylindrica (Sponge gourd) and Momordica charantia (Bittergourd), and at the end of 2021, the working group designated and submitted pathogen codes for these crops, to the ISF DRT.. The list has been reviewed and accepted to be published on ISF website here.

This is all for now for the SC/SIG updates. All minutes of SIG/SC meetings can be viewed by APSA members by logging in APSA website and go to member area. Thank you very much and stay tuned for more updates next month. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Kunaporn Phuntunil

APSA Technical Coordination Manager

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Seed Industry News


  • Ukraine invasion poses ‘dire consequences’ for regional food  security
  • Q&A on EU’s new laws for microorganisms in plant protection products:  
  • IYFV formally draws to close
  • Global food prices rise in January as vegetable oils reach all-time high
  • PBR Infringement yields hefty penalties in Italy  
  • Farmers in Damurhuda subdistrict succeed in producing jute seeds
  • RCEP Rules of Origin discussed by Cambodian trade officials
  • Japanese firm to invest in Cambodian cashews
  • WFP addressing food insecurity emergency in Afghanistan
  • Kazakhstan optimistic on grain exports, as PM orders review of agriculture support  
  • Uzbekistan food import stats, and greenhouse efforts
  • Food inflation concern Kyrgyzstan
  • China gene-editing guidelines provide path for commercialization, planting updates
  • Blizzards, bad weather affect agriculture in South China and Japan
  • Unauthorized potato seed crackdown in Punjab
  • Seed firms to assess, address Indian veg seed sector labor standards
  • Planting of GM eggplant in protest
  • Bayer to apply for cultivation of next-generation GM cotton seeds 
  • Pulses and oilseed crops emphasized in Zaid cropping
  • Rice breeding, seeding efforts in South Sulawesi
  • Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture boosts soybean seed breeding
  • Fukushima food promoted as food import bans lifted abroad
  • Japan sees record ag and seafood exports in 2021
  • Korean Seed localization highlights
  • Malaysia holds consultation on Genome-Editing regulations 
  • Flooding in Kelantan, Pahang, and Terengganu
  • Advanta listed as ‘one of most recommended Agri-Tech companies in 2022
  • WFP assistance update following super Typhoon Rai
  • The Philippines to begin mass production of golden rice seeds
  • Bayer gets new PR boss at Bayer APAC
  • Turkey cropping update
  • Nine localities get Lunar New Year rice relief in Viet Nam

The above is 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.4 (Quarter 4, 2021)

Our fourth and final issue of Asian Seed and Planting Material Volume 27 brings into perspective the immediate past, present and future of the seed industry with respect to a number of important news, initiatives, developments and trends. Starting with updates from APSA president and Executive Director  which include updates from the recent Annual General Meeting, technical sessions and other important matters, the magazine issue has exclusive updates from the China seed industry. We have a story announcing the winners for APSA’s new excellence recognition program in which we name the five most influential seed scientists of the Asia-Pacific in 2021. There is also an interview with the lead of the 2021 Access to Seeds Index, which scores, ranks and compares leading international seed companies on their efforts to provide quality seeds throughout Africa, South and Southeast Asia. We also have an update in the form of a Q&A with the ISF about gene-editing trends, policies and communications. There’s a spread containing the Executive Summary of the OECD’s recent report looking at the impacts of Covid, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, and which was based on several surveys, including those conducted by APSA this and last year on the topic. Our main cover feature takes a deep dive into the current trend for rising energy and  shipping costs, which will continue to have monumental impacts on the bottom line for the international seed trade. We also have updates on advocacy and policy initiatives taken on by APSA and associates in several countries in the region. This is in addition to our regular updates from APSA’s Technical Affairs.  

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