Newsletter: February 2024

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February 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to APSA’s February 2024 Newsletter! Watch APSA SEED Insights CLICK! 

Table of Contents 

Address from the director's desk 

Dear members and partners,

 February went fast! My first month in the role has been an intense and exciting one, immersing myself in the Secretariat and engaging with APSA leadership to grasp our key priorities and outlook for the next few years.

I'm thrilled about 2024, which marks APSA's 30th anniversary. It's an exciting milestone, and we are eager to recognize the champions, advocates, and contributors who have fueled APSA's success over the last three decades. We're planning a communications campaign to celebrate this occasion, so stay tuned for updates!

Looking ahead in March, I'm excited about the upcoming 10th Phyto Expert Consultation scheduled for 5-7 March in Manila. This event will bring together over 20 representatives from national plant protection offices to explore ways to enhance phytosanitary capabilities in the region. I firmly believe APSA has a crucial role to play in leading efforts to deepen understanding and knowledge exchange between the public and private sectors on pressing seed issues.

I look forward to meeting and exchanging with all of you.

Watch a full content of APSA Seed Insight CLICK thumbnail 

Ms. Francine Sayoc

APSA Executive Director

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THANK YOU to our digital media sponsors



APSA Membership Updates 

I would like to remind everyone that APSA 2024 Membership term started on 1 January, and concludes December 31.You can renew until 31 March in order to maintain active membership status. 

After 31 March, those who do not renew their membership will become suspended, which means they will not be able to register for any APSA activities and will only be able to access invoice in our online members platform.  APSA Membership Fees are non-refundable and we do not provide pro rata membership rates.

Please be advised that all invoices will be available to be viewed and downloaded. To view, print and/or make payment for your invoice, please visit APSA website. For your convenience, please CLICK HERE to view the Tutorial presentation on how to proceed for your APSA 2024 Membership Renewal invoice and payment process.

To date in 2024, we now have a total of 225 active APSA Members who have already renewed their 2024 Membership.

Please be informed that we have successfully opened a new bank account with Standard Chartered in Singapore, details are below. And we are happy to inform you that you will now be able to settle online payment via Credit / Debit Card. CLICK HERE to view the Tutorial presentation on how to proceed.


Beneficiary's account name: ASIA AND PACIFIC SEED ALLIANCE LTD.
Beneficiary's bank name: Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited
Beneficiary's bank Branch: Battery Road
Beneficiary's bank code: 9496
Beneficiary's bank address: 6 Battery Road, #08-01, Singapore 049909
Beneficiary's Account number (USD): 01-0-600568-5
GIRO/Standing instructions – SCBLSG22XXX
Swift code or IBAN #: SCBLSG22XXX 

Looking forward to your kind cooperation at your earliest convenience which will be highly beneficial for us and would be greatly appreciated.

Mr. Komsak Kamjing (Bobbie)

APSA Membership Coordination Manager 

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2024 APSA Large Seed Vegetables & Brassicaceae Okra (LSVBO) Thank God It's Friday

APSA is happy to announce a brand-new webinar series, the 2024 APSA Large Seed Vegetables & Brassicaceae Okra (LSVBO) Thank God It's Friday. This new webinar series will consist of 4 sessions covering large seed vegetables, Brassicaceae and okra in Asia and the Pacific Region and will be held on Friday with the months of March, June, September and November. The first session of the LSVBO TGIF Webinar will be held Friday, 22 March 2024 and will focus on Sweet Corn.

One-Time payment of the registration will allow access to all 4 webinar sessions. Additional benefits include access to APSA Seed Academy Platform in 2024 with certificate of attendance and record of each session and a special 5% discount for the same person to attend the physical 2024 APSA Asian Solanaceous-Cucurbit Roundtable (ASCRT 2024).

For more details regarding registration fee, agenda and how to register, please visit


10th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation

The 10th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation will be held in Manila, Philippines on March 5 - 7, 2024, in collaboration with the Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA), and co-hosted by Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture, Philippines, to continue our efforts with the dialogue between phytosanitary regulatory officials and the seed sector to emphasize on the importance of the seed movement across the region. There will be around 50 participants joining this event including NPPOs and seed industry stakeholders.

The first two days of the Expert Consultation will provide a platform to further discuss public private partnership to strengthen the collaboration to address all concerns relating to seed movement across borders. The third day will be a visit of seed health testing   laboratory of Philippines NPPO, the Bureau of Plant Industry in Los Banos and seed laboratory of East West Seeds.

Though the event is invite only, for more details regarding event agenda, please visit



AFSTA CONGRESS 2024 (March 4 – 6, 2024)

The 24th annual African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) Congress 2024 will be held from the 4th to 6th March 2024 at the Pride Inn Paradise Beach Hotel & Resort in Mombasa, Kenya.  

The AFSTA congress enables seed people from all over Africa and beyond to network and exchange ideas on what the current situations portend to the future of seed trade and production. It also provides great opportunities for the seed industry stakeholders to network and trade, and also to provide information on the latest policy developments that have the potential to impact seed trade activities in Africa.

The AFSTA Congress is open to both Members and Non-Members. For more details and how to register, please visit


ISF World Seed Congress 2024 (May 7 – 9, 2024)

The International Seed Federation (ISF) and the Dutch National Organizing Committee (NOC) are preparing a very special congress on 27-29 May 2024 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. 2024 is a historic year for ISF as we mark our 100th anniversary. A hundred years ago, visionary seeds men from around the world convened to standardize commercial seed exchanges and promote international cooperation to support the increased international global seed movement. This moment marked the genesis of an organization that would become the voice of the global private seed industry. Join us as we celebrate not only the association’s century-long journey but also the transformative power of seeds to shape a food-secure future.

The Netherlands, a leader in plant breeding, propagation, and seed imports and exports, will gather seed professionals from all over the world for business, trading, exhibition, panel discussions, and plenty of networking opportunities. This congress is not to be missed! For more details and how to register, please visit

Mike Kingapayom

APSA Event Manager

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Technical Affairs Updates

Standing Committees and Special Interest Groups

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

Starting with the SC Plant Breeding Innovation:

The committee members have actively engaged in a collective effort to provide informed commentary on the "consultation on regulatory framework for the use of genome-edited crops for food and animal feed," a significant initiative led by the Singapore Food Agency. Leveraging their expertise derived from the seed industry perspective, committee members dedicated their insights and knowledge to thoroughly examine the proposed regulatory framework. The synthesized feedback has been diligently compiled and is set to be shared with the Singapore Food Agency this month.

Let us move to an update from Standing Committee on Seed Technology: 

In late February, the committee convened for its inaugural quarterly meeting, marking a pivotal moment for discussions surrounding the committee's tenure review and the prospective recruitment of new members. Identifying areas of improvement, exploring opportunities for growth, and refining the committee's goals were key topics addressed during the meeting, setting the stage for a dynamic and impactful tenure ahead.

Among the notable agenda items, the committee devoted significant attention to the strategic recruitment of potential new members, aiming to diversify expertise and bring fresh perspectives into the group. Furthermore, the committee dedicated time to planning activities for the upcoming year, highlighting the anticipation of the APSA Seed Technology Webinar as a focal point. The webinar is viewed as a cornerstone event, providing a platform for knowledge exchange and discussions within the realm of seed technology. We encourage all interested parties to stay tuned for updates and announcements.

Next is an update from SC IPR & Biodiversity:

This month the committee eagerly works to form the agenda of the two important physical events in Bangkok, Thailand;

First is the APSA Seed Association meeting on April 23 where there will be a discussion forum on plant variety protection systems, Farmers’ Rights and Breeders’  Rights and the introduction to Access and Benefit Sharing Mechanisms.

The second event is the APSA Regional Plant Variety Protection and Biodiversity Consultation; mark the date of this event on April 24-25 in Bangkok, Thailand. This is the first flagship event of the committee to invite government officials in Asia to join this consultation. Stay tuned.

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

The committee is looking forward to the upcoming 10th APSA Phytosanitary Expert Consultation, first time to be held in the Philippines. Government officials from 15 countries namely Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia Pakistan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are joining the consultation both online and onsite. Besides, APSA stakeholders and seed associations’ representatives are traveling to the Philippines to join this event to further enhancing seed movement in the Asia and Pacific Region through this public private partnership. Look forward to the exciting event!

Next is an update from SIG Field Crops: 

The committee underscores its ongoing commitment to strengthening connections within its community as it actively seeks new members who can make meaningful contributions to the field crops seed sector. This collaborative effort is emblematic of the committee's dedication to fostering a diverse and knowledgeable team, ensuring a well-rounded and comprehensive representation of expertise within the field.

Simultaneously, the committee is diligently engaged in an essential research initiative. Specifically, they are actively working on a survey aimed at assessing the market size for field crops. As these endeavors unfold, the committee invites its members and stakeholders to stay tuned for further updates on both the recruitment efforts and the progress of the market size survey.

Moving to the Special Interest Group on Vegetables and Ornamentals

The committee has proposed an intriguing initiative centered around a comprehensive exploration of vegetable cultivation through a study tour focusing on urban and high-tech farming in both Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore, known for its affluence, particularly stands out for its advanced technology in the realm of urban agriculture, with a notable emphasis on vertical farming techniques. The city-state's innovative practices in this field are anticipated to offer valuable insights into sustainable and efficient vegetable production within urban environments.

On the other hand, Malaysia provides a unique landscape for the study tour, showcasing a diverse range of farming methods. Participants will have the opportunity to observe and learn from both indoor and open-field vertical farming practices, gaining a holistic understanding of the various approaches employed in the region. Additionally, the visit to hydroponic growers in Malaysia aims to shed light on large-scale production methods, further enriching the knowledge and experience of the participants. As the committee continues to develop this initiative, stay tuned for forthcoming updates that will unveil the exciting prospects and educational opportunities that this vegetables study tour has to offer.

The Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Seed Companies or WIC

WIC members are planning their trips to Bangkok on the third week of April. This month WIC Chair and Co-Chair had a meeting to form the agenda to ensure tacking burning topics happening in APAC regions and fruitful discussion on many WIC initiatives such as University Connect Program, Disease Resistance Terminology and Seed Innovation and Protection Initiative (SIPI).

For The R&D Advisory Group,

This month the R&D activities are focusing on the preparation of the APSA Asian Solanaceous – Cucurbit Roundtable in the Philippines. The R&D AG members, led by the ASCRT Organizing Chair Dr Conrado Balatero, had a few meetings with the co-organizers and APSA Secretariat to form the ASCRT program. Tentatively it will be 2.5 days extensive presentation for Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae crops plus a half day field visit on the third day of the event.

On another note, the R&D members proudly present famous speakers for the  first webinar session of APSA Large Seed Vegetables & Brassicaceae Okra (LSVBO) Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF) 2024 on sweet corn, Dr Mallikarjuna N, Maize pathologist, AICRP on Maize, ICAR India on the topic of “Introduction to ICAR National Disease Screening facility for Corn and Sweet corn in India”. The second speaker is Dr Taweesak Pulam, Plant Breeder/Managing Director, Sweet Seeds Co., Ltd. and Thai Seed Research Co., Ltd. on the topic of “Tropical Sweet Corn Breeding for Asia and Pacific” Stay tuned for more updates.

Last but not least, as part of the R&D public private partnership project, this month we had a project update of the APSA-NSTDA-KMITL collaborative project title “Identification of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers associated with resistance to pepper yellow leaf curl virus in chili pepper”. This 3-year project is ongoing and it is now entering the 2nd year of the project implementation.  

The Disease Resistance Terminology Working Group or DRT,

Activities are still on process for both bitter gourd powdery mildew subgroup and the watermelon fusarium wilt subgroup. For bitter gourd subgroup, the members are submitting a yearly status report form to the Indian’s National Biodiversity Authority, and Acsen Agriscience is processing on the seed sending to members companies in and outside India. For Watermelon Fusarium Wilt subgroup, the seed multiplication in Thailand is still in the field.

This is all for now for the short SC/SIG updates.  Thank you very much and stay tuned for more updates next month. 


Kunaporn Phuntunil

APSA Technical Coordination Manager

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Public-Private Partnerships

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

The registration for 2024 APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium and its Annual WorkshopCLICK HERE to learn more about the consortium benefits)are ongoing. This year we provide the good benefits as last year to consortium members including15 free exclusive lines, add hybrids in the exclusive lines, more training opportunities, and set up annual meeting for discussing special project ideas. You could find more details HERE. The registration of the Annual Workshop will be closed on April 15th, so please hurry up to register if you are interested in it.

A special project entitled “Developing Host Resistance to Thrips in Chilli, a Multilateral Pre-Breeding Approach” is launched under the 2024 APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium. The registration period for this project is from Feb 1st to March 31st, you could find more details and the registration link HERE

The Pumpkin Open Field Day 2024 at WorldVeg’s Research & Training Station at Kasetsart University Kamphaeng Saen Campus, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, were successful on February 8–9, 2024. More than 60 experts from Asian seed companies joined the event. he two-day event allowed returning participants and newcomers to vigorously observe, evaluate, and select the lines suitable for their program on the 7-acre demonstration plot. The team also demonstrated vast and impressive sets of WorldVeg's elite breeding lines and F1 hybrids, along with the famous commercial checks.

The special field day to be organized on 2 April 2024 for 2023 APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium exclusive lines under Indian conditions has to be cancelled due to limit participation from members. Announcement will be sent out soon. 

If you have any problem or need help from APSA Secretariat, pls contact APSA Partnership Program Manager Ms. Xiaofeng Li at


Ms. Xiaofeng Li

APSA Partnership Program Manager

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Seed Industry News


Record-Breaking Fall Armyworm Invasion Threatens Crops: February 15: Australian farmers are facing an unprecedented threat from the fall armyworm (FAW), with damages likened to those caused by bushfires.

Unexpected Rainfall Boosts Agriculture: January 23: Australia's unexpected rainfall has significantly increased wheat and crop productions, challenging earlier El Niño predictions for dry conditions.

More from Australia seed industry news


Seed Initiative to Revitalize Jute Farming: February 17: The Bangladesh government is set to distribute around USD 680,000 worth of jute seeds to 330,000 small farmers to encourage the cultivation of the plant.

Rising Popularity of Sunflower Farming: February 7: In Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, and Narail, sunflower cultivation has exceeded 3,100 hectares, outpacing targets in a move towards profitability and efficiency. . .

Cold Wave Delays Boro Cultivation: January 26: A persistent cold spell across northern Bangladesh in January caused significant delays in Boro rice cultivation in Lalmonirhat and Kurigram districts. . .

New High-Yield Rice Varieties Approved: January 13: The National Seed Board has approved two new Boro rice varieties, BRRI Dhan107 and BRRI Dhan108, developed by the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI).. . . 

More from Bangladesh seed industry news


Transforming Saline Land into Fertile Ground: February 25: Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences have pioneered a method to convert saline-alkaline land into productive farmland. . . .

Enhanced Protection of Seed Intellectual Property Rights:  February 22: China is reinforcing intellectual property rights protections for seeds, introducing stricter penalties for violations to support agricultural innovation and food security. . .

China Aims for Record Grain Harvest in 2024: February 19: China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs plans to boost grain production to over 650 million tons in 2024, focusing on national food security. . . .

Simplifying Gene Editing in Plant Research: February 14: Researchers in China have developed a groundbreaking method that simplifies gene editing in plants, potentially transforming agricultural biotechnology. . . .

More from China seed industry news


Wheat Production Set to Exceed Targets: February 26: India's wheat output is expected to surpass the 114 million tonne target for this year, buoyed by favorable weather and the use of climate-resilient varieties. . .

Empowering Women in India's Agricultural Sector: February 25: Women constitute a significant portion of the agricultural workforce in India yet their representation in Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) is notably low. . . .

Limited Onion Exports Allowed Amid Ban: February 22: India has approved the export of 54,760 tonnes of onions to Bangladesh, Mauritius, Bahrain, and Bhutan until March 31, despite a current export ban to control domestic prices. . . .

Rice Prices Fall Due to Increased Supply: February 21: Rice prices in India have decreased by up to 10% in the last month, driven by a surge in supply and effective government actions. . . .

Healthy Profits for Wheat Farmers in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh:  February 15: Accounting for almost 35 per cent of India's wheat output, farmers in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh will benefit from the MSP being set at approximately $280 per metric ton for the 2024-25 Rabi season. . . 

More from India seed industry news


Rice Reserves Boosted with Imports: February 26: The National Food Agency (Bapanas) is set to import 1.6 million tons of rice to enhance the government's rice reserves to meet the directive of maintaining at least 1.2 million tons in stock. . . .

Embraces Diverse Crops for Climate Resilience: February 20: Indonesia is transitioning towards more sustainable agriculture by diversifying from rice to alternative crops like sorghum, millet, and corn in response to climate change. . . .

More from Indonesia seed industry news


Adapt to Climate Change with Crop Diversification: February 5: In response to climate change, Japanese farmers are diversifying their crops, integrating tangerines and apples in Miyagi Prefecture and expanding peach cultivation in apple-dominated Aomori Prefecture. . .

IP Rights Cooperation Strengthened: February 2: Taking place on January 15 and 16, 2024, Japan and China conducted the 10th Meeting of the Japan-China Joint Intellectual Property Working Group (IP WG) in Beijing, aiming to . . .

More from Japan seed industry news


Urban Farming Initiative Expanded: February 26: Malaysia's Agriculture Department is expanding its 'kebuniti' community farm project to nine new urban locations. . .

Revolutionizing Rice Farming for Climate Resilience: February 25: In Kampung Sungai Leman, farmers are adopting the NMR 152 rice seed, known for its exceptional yield of up to 10 tons per hectare . . . 

More from Malaysia seed industry news


  New Zealand

Royalty Fees on Farm-Saved Seed: February 14: New Zealand is set to enforce royalty fees on farmers re-sowing seed from protected wheat, barley, and other crop varieties. . . .

Seed Exports Surge in Value: February 2: New Zealand's seed exports have experienced a significant 27% increase in value, totaling $281 million in 2023, with projections for continued growth. . . .

More from New Zealand seed industry news


Challenges Faced by Women Farmers in Pakistan: February 25: A study by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlights that women farmers in Pakistan are often unacknowledged for their critical role in agriculture. . .

Urea Distribution Delays Worsen Agricultural Crisis: February 16: Delays in distributing imported urea are exacerbating challenges for Pakistan's farmers, with 150,000 metric tonnes essential . . .

Drought Threatens Pakistan's Agriculture: February 1: Winter crops are at risk due to a severe rainfall shortage, impacting farmers' livelihoods and the country's food security. . . .

More from Pakistan seed industry news


El Niño Continues to Cause Havoc to Agriculture: February 26: The Department of Agriculture reports that El Niño has inflicted P357.4 million in damages across four Philippine regions. . .

Government Boosts Rice Industry Amid El Niño Challenges: February 6: The Department of Agriculture is intensifying efforts to develop the rice industry, aiming for self-sufficiency by 2028 despite El Niño challenges. . . .

More from Philippines seed industry news

 Sri Lanka

Empowering Farmers with Renewable Energy: February 16: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Government of Japan, has initiated a transformative project in Sri Lanka's Northwestern Province. . .

Sri Lanka Achieves Rice Self-Sufficiency: January 31: Minister Mahinda Amaraweera of the Agriculture and Plantation Industry recently announced Sri Lanka's self-sufficiency in rice production for 2024. . . 

More from Philippines seed industry news


Severe Drought Disrupting Lotus Farming in Phimai: February 24: In Phimai district, Nakhon Ratchasima province, a severe drought has led to the drying up of the Mun River, affecting the livelihoods of local farmers, especially those cultivating lotuses. . .

Water Crisis Affects Rice Farming: February 24: Amidst climate change and El Niño, Thailand faces reduced water supply, urging second-crop farmers to reconsider off-season rice cultivation. . . .

Blockchain Heralding a New Era of Innovation and Sustainability: February 16: Thailand is integrating blockchain technology into its agricultural sector as part of its broader initiative to increase farmers' income and enhance global competitiveness. . .

Embracing Gene Editing for Agriculture: February 1: The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is embracing gene editing technology to counter the impacts of climate change on agricultural yields. . . .

More from Thailand seed industry news


Agricultural Sector Grapples with High Logistics Costs: February 26: Vietnam's agricultural sector faces a significant challenge due to high logistics costs, which consume a large portion of product prices. . . .

Vietnam Advances Green Agriculture and Carbon Credit Market: February 19: Vietnam is planning to develop one million hectares of low-carbon rice production, aiming for sustainable growth and higher quality exports. . . .

More from Vietnam seed industry news


Seed Industry News by country in alphabetical order








Korea, South





New Zealand




Sri Lanka




Central Asia

Middle East




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Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities

As part of APSA’s sustained digitalization and digitization efforts, in 2024 we’re offering active members even more ways to directly reach Asia-Pacific seed industry decision makers -- 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.

We are pleased to announce our 2024 Digital Media Sponsorship Rates and Media Kit:


Don’t hesitate, INQUIRE NOW!

Email: ( or Mike (

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Asian Seed magazine Vol. 29 No.4 (Quarter 4, October - December 2023)

No password required

Volume 29, Issue four of Asian Seed & Planting Material is our annual Congress edition; therefore the content is richly themed around the 2023 Asian Seed Congress hosts, New Zealand. Starting with an address from APSA President Dr. Manish Patel, who reiterates the importance of enabling seed business and trade, a special international news section from Seed World and a round-up of seed industry news from earlier in the year; the issue features a comprehensive vegetable seed trade report covering the export and import of vegetable seeds to and from Asia-Pacific countries. It also features an overview of seed trade for the ASC hosts New Zealand, covering the trade of various types of vegetable, forage and field crop seeds. There is an exclusive interview with the president of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association president Mrs Charlotte Connoley about her countries challenges and opportunities, which is also addressed from the government sector’s Ministry for Primary Industries. 

The 2023 Year In Review Document features facts, figures an details about all of the various activities APSA has organized, participated in and carried out this past year. The document covers the highlights from various activities, including APSA’s in-person and online events, technical webinars, as well as various collaborations, initiatives and projects with members, partners and stakeholders. There are also details, metrics and statistics about APSA’s digital media and website. 

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Social Media

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