Quality Seed | Quality Life
January 2022 Newsletter
Welcome everyone to the first APSA newsletter and podcast of 2022! I do wish all of you a great start of the year. The APSA Secretariat has been active early the New Year giving well wishes to various stakeholders in Bangkok.
Next, let me highlight some important news regarding our collaboration with stakeholders during December 2021 and January 2022. On 16 December 2021, APSA President joined a virtual signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding with China Association.
This MoU is between APSA and the China Association for the Promotion of International Agricultural Cooperation (CAPIAC). to establish a new China-based association that aims to “deeply integrate the resources of international scientists called “The International Alliance of Seed Industry Scientist (IASIS)”.
This new association was supported by more than 100 founding members from private and public sectors, and represents a great opportunity for APSA to collaborate with IASIS on the research and development for breeding technology and for capacity building programs moving forward. More information you can be found here.
On 20 January, APSA and the Thai Seed Trade Association (THASTA) signed an agreement to organize the Asian Seed Congress 2022 together with Thailand’s Department of Agriculture and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).. This is a great start to promote our in-person congress following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. This year we are thrilled to welcome our members back to Bangkok from 14 - 18 November, 2022. See news about the ceremony here.
Starting January, the APSA Secretariat together with our Executive Committee and our SIGs and SCs are looking forward to carrying out activities and a number of new initiatives proposed by our technical committees in 2021. These include the University Connect Program, APSA Seed Academy and an initiative to establish a framework to support members on key burning issues in seed industries, as well as our recognition award program.
Our committee members are very enthusiastic and optimistic that some of our activities can be conducted as a physical platform. We are looking forward to the first physical workshop in India which is the Asian Solanaceous Round Table and the annual workshop for our consortium members from 2021 and 2022, separately. All activities are organized in collaboration with IIHR at Bangalore, India during 9 - 11 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.
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 these amended rule.
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 September, 2021 letter. As previously reported, this proposed amendment is anticipated to have major adverse impacts for local seed companies. Thus, APSA will continue to provide support to SAP in communicating to the government these negative impacts.
Aside from this, we have also received an update from China that the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China has confirmed amendments to the "Seed Law of the People's Republic of China” as previously reported. The salient features of this amendment is to improve the protection of the rights and interests of the owners of new plant varieties, establish an EDV system within China, increase the penalties for infringement, and encourage original innovation. The new Seed Law will come into effect on March 1, 2022. For more details see China seed industry updates below. We would like to congratulate China on great progress with respect to plant variety protection and IP enforcement.
APSA together with our stakeholders also submitted comments to the Chinese government. during the ammendment’s consultation period last year. The final update for this month is regarding India’s Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021. Acting on an invitation for stakeholders to provide comments. APSA, in consultation with the FSII and CropLife Asia submitted comments in a letter on 30th January. We will keep our members informed on any progress on the amendment. Be sure to see more details in seed industry news below.
Lastly, I would like to wish all of our members from China, Singapore, Korea and Vietnam a very fabulous Lunar New Year. May this Year of the Tiger bring you and your family good health, prosperity, happiness and success.
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 email@example.com .
APSA Executive Director
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As the New Year of 2022 has just begun, I would like to remind you that it is now time to renew your APSA 2022 Membership and enjoy exclusive access to APSA’s membership database and business directory, enabling you to link up with both public and private sector decision makers and expand your business regionally and globally via exclusive networking opportunities with leading seed enterprises and organizations. CLICK HERE for APSA Membership Dashboard Log-in Tutorial, which will help you to better understand how to sign-in to your account and navigate the Membership Dashboard.
APSA Membership term is 1 January through 31 December and membership renewal fees are due 1 January each year. Unpaid dues as of March 31 will result in disqualification from membership privileges. APSA Membership Fees are non-refundable and we do not provide pro rata membership rates.
Since the start of 2022 and until today, we now have a total of 110 active APSA Members who have renewed their 2022 Membership. The APSA Executive Committee Members has also approved 4 new membership applications, as seen below:
We would also like to inform all of our members that APSA is offering a very attractive Digital Media Sponsor Package. Please CLICK HERE for Sponsorship Package offerings consolidated with fillable quotation form to select the package and choose the Digital Media Sponsorship (DMS) for your advertisement.
If you have any questions, or if there is anything else, we can assist you with please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Mr. Komsak Kamjing (Bobbie)
APSA Membership Coordination Manager
First, a quick update on our recent Bittergourd Field Day conducted earlier this month in India. It was a productive day out, and be sure to check out some of the photos – courtesy of ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru – in our gallery here.
And next, a much anticipated update on upcoming APSA events.
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. For more details, event agenda and for registration, please visit the official event page. (https://web.apsaseed.org/events/ASRT-2022)
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. (https://www.afsta.org/congress)
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 (https://cnseed.nfncb.cn/)
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. (https://congress.worldseed.org/)
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.
APSA Event Manager
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 Consortium（CLICK HERE to learn more about the consortium benefits.） and its Annual Workshop are now open, (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 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
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 this month:
Starting with the Standing Committee on Seed Technology:
Last year the APSA Seed Technology webinar series was very popular and it has received very good feedback from APSA members and stakeholders. The committee therefore has decided to continue the webinar series this year. They will carefully review topics and suggestions last year before coming up with the theme this year to bring good quality webinar topics to APSA members.
Besides, the committee was very eager to move forward with APSA Seed Academy Program which was formally launched last November. The ultimate goal is to create courses for certified seed technologists. Currently the Secretariat is exploring a Learning Management System (LMS) platform and will keep close collaboration with the committee.
Also the committee discussed the brainstorming of the APSA Recognition Award for Seed Technologist. The criteria and concept still need to be brainstormed in the next meeting.
Let us move to an update from the SC IPR&Biodiversity:
The committee had the first meeting on January 18th, which was the first committee meeting of the year among all SC/SIG committees. During the meeting, Mr Fabrice Mattei, APSA IPR&Biodiversity representative joining a task force team (ISF, CropLife International, AFSTA, SAA and Euroseed) shared an update on the task force responsibilities to propose the revision of the 3 UPOV Explanatory Notes as follows:
Besides, the committee is also working on the APSA Digital Sequence Information (DSI) Factsheet, which the first draft will be finished in the first half quarter of the year. During the meeting the committee also suggested to add a topic of roundtable discussion on new emerging issues in the committee meeting.
Lastly, the committee members welcomed Mr Francois Burgaud as the new Co-Chair, while Mr Liam Gimon continues to contribute to the committee.
Next is an update from the Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine
The committee met on January 19th with a tight schedule mainly on policy advocacy as Dr May mentioned in the beginning. The advocacy efforts updated in the committee meeting also included the Philippines Seed Bill and the Memorandum Circular of Plant Breeding Innovations (PBIs) and New Plant Breeding Techniques (NBTs), which the Memo was hoped to be signed in the first quarter. Besides, the committee also updated on the 3rd party lab accreditation in Thailand and the update of APHIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Starting March 31, 2022, APHIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will accept only original phytosanitary certificates and forms for plant commodities. On another note, the committee was also informed that APHIS is seeking comments on two documents on the Regulatory Framework for Seed Health (ReFresh) web page, which outlines a new approach to international seed trade. The comments will be collected through APSA secretariat.
Next is an update from SIG Field Crops:
At the first SIG Field Crops meeting of January 21st, the committee warmly welcomed Mr Rahul Menon as a new member from Syngenta Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. Mr Menon currently works as APAC Portfolio and Technology Lead for APAC Field Crops Seed’s business. He is also an expert on the Rice Seed business and he collaborates with Myanmar Seeds business for Syngenta Asia Pacific based out of Singapore. He has been in Syngenta for the last 8 years.
In the SIG Field Crops committee meeting, the committee agreed to continue organizing the APSA SIG Field Crops webinars this year to provide benefits for APSA members. The committee had a good discussion to brainstorm potential topics for the webinar this year. Some of the themes are new breeding technologies for field crops, Crop production technology and Seed Treatment and Agronomy and Digital interventions to improve productivity for farmers. The committee will continue the discussion via email and we will keep you posted. Besides, SIG Field Crops committee fully supported the University Connect Program initiated by WIC group under SIG Veg&Orn. The next committee meeting is set in March.
Next is the Special Interest Group on Vegetables and Ornamentals or SIG Veg & Orn had the first meeting this year on January 22nd. The committee was excited to plan for new activities. Despite the uncertain situation of Covid-19, SIG Veg&Orn committee still looks for a chance to have a physical study tour, tentatively scheduled in Spain around the second half quarter of the year. They also started brainstorming on topics for APSA technical session in the Physical Asian Seed Congress to be held in Bangkok, to ensure quality presentation topics delivered to APSA members.
The Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Seed Companies or WIC also updated a summary of action points of WIC November meeting to SIG Veg&Orn members. The group is hoping to have a one-day physical meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on April 20, 2022. Besides, Mr Rahul, WIC Chair also updated on the University Connect Program that APSA continues to coordinate with National Seed Associations from 7 countries (Bangladesh, China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand) with a total 17 universities in Asia. He also updated the committee regarding the Vegetable Landscaping report in APAC and Seed Innovation and Production Initiative (SIPI). Lastly, this year WIC also planned to organize a workshop for plant variety protection (PVP) to follow WIC Code of Conduct. Stay tuned for more details.
The R&D Advisory Group had a meeting at the end of January. They had a very tight schedule to discuss several topics since the first meeting, namely Breeder Training Courses for APSA members, MoU with ICAR update and APSA Recognition Award Program. This year the R&D Advisory Group plans to have 2 physical events, the 4th Asian Solanaceous Roundtable to be held in May and the 2nd Asian Cucurbit Roundtable to be held in Bangkok in July. The group will also continue the online ASCRT webinars.
The Disease Resistance Terminology Working Group or DRT, had a meeting on January 21st. The Secretariat reported a summary survey from APSA WIC members on DRT crop preferences. Apart from the current bitter gourd project, DRT decided to have another 2 sub-groups on tomato and watermelon. By next month, APSA Secretariat will coordinate to recruit new members in the sub-groups and later on to decide on the pathogens.
This is all for now for the SC/SIG updates. Thank you very much and stay tuned for more updates next month. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
APSA Technical Coordination Manager
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New PRISMA edition released: UPOV is pleased to announce the release of UPOV PRISMA, Version 2.7. . .
South African seed growers appeal for NBTs not to be regulated: South African seed industry organizations led by the South African National Seed Organization (SANSOR) released a joint statement . . .
$10M project aims for more pest-resilient food options in Asia: A new Cornell-led project will accelerate the application of biotechnology to enhance food and nutritional security in Bangladesh and the Philippines. . . .
APHIS to accept only original phytosanitary certificates: From March 31 the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will accept only original phytosanitary certificates and forms for plant commodity imports. . . .
Details on these on our international seed industry news page
A mice infestation concerns after bumper crop: Farmers in Western Australia are being advised to increase surveillance and baiting measures this coming cropping season . . .
Hailstorms lash Victoria district potato crop: As much as 95% of the potato crop in the Ballarat agricultural district of Victoria’s central highlands were damaged . . .
2021-2022 wheat production pegged to drop due to cool, rainy weather: Forecast for production to be down sharply from last year, citing “cooler than normal temperatures in eastern Australia” . . .
More details on these and other stories in the Australia seed industry news page
FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the PacificL The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Thirty-sixth Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific is scheduled for the Intercontinental Hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 8 - 11 March 2022. . . . .
China Seed Law Amendment effective March 1:The latest amendment to China’s Seed Law, which was confirmed at the end of 2021, is set to strengthen protection of new plant variety owner rights while establishing an EDV system . . .
Heilongjiang soybean and maize GMs approved for production: After a near ten-year food and environmental safety assessment, genetically modified corn and soybean harvested in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province have been approved for commerce. . . .
Further development of corn seed breeding and processing bases in Ganzhou: Ganzhou District chiefs expect to build a "bigger, stronger, first-class" seed industry by taking advantage of resources and state incentives. . . .
Non-Major crops list for Sichuan Province announced: The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has released the latest list of approved crops in Sichuan province, in southwest China. . . .
See all China seed industry news here
India's Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill 2021: APSA on behalf of its international members has provided industry feedback on India's proposed Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill 2021. . .
ACSEN HyVeg Managing Director Awarded: AsiaOne Magazine chose Dr Arvind Kapur for India's Greatest Brands & Leaders 2020-21 award. . . .
These stories in more on Indian seed industry news page
PVP UPOV Breeder’s Exception knowledge shared in webinar: The Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia on January 26 held an online seminar to increase understanding about the Breeder’s Exemption in PVP under UPOV Convention. . . .
This story in more on Indonesian seed industry news page
High-speed Laos-China Railway to expedite exports: Although Laos in 2021 earned more than US$900 million from agricultural exports -- more than 80 percent of which China buys -- the number was 18 percent off-target . . .
This story and more on Laos seed industry news page
Labor shortages threatening grain harvest: Farmers are bearing the brunt of labor shortages in New Zealand, with some farmers warning that crops could soon be rotting in the fields . . .
Invasive mothplant threatening native Kiwi bugs: Biosecurity authorities are urging New Zealand residents to take measures to stamp out the invasive moth plant . . .
Cash injection to revive native plants: A Government funding initiative in South Canterbury is poised to help restore heavily-farmed ancestral waterways. . .
These stories and more on New Zealand industry news page
Updates on restrictive amendments to Pakistan seed regulation: Amendments to Pakistan’s Seed (Business Regulation) Rules 2016 are set to become effective 31 July 2022. Confirmed in a circular issued by the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department . . .
This story and more on Pakistan seed industry news page
Thailand decriminalizes entire cannabis plant: Thailand's Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, recently announced that the Office of the Narcotics Control Board has approved the removal of cannabis from its list of controlled drugs. . . .
More Thai seed industry news.
Scaling up GM maize adoption: The Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) in December 2021 published “A Policy Paper on Scaling Up the Adoption of GM Maize in Emerging Economies: Economic and Policy Lessons from the Philippines”. . . .
More on the Philippines seed industry news page.
Vietnam Fights Fall Army Worm with Bt Corn: In a research paper issued by three Vietnamese institutes and Bayer Vietnam, the depredations of the Fall Army Worm (FAW) in 2019 are traced and solutions described. . . .
Plant Breeder’s Rights online seminar held: The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam on January 12 held an “Online Seminar on the Enforcement of Plant Breeders’ Rights”. . . .
These and more in Vietnam seed industry news
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:
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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