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July 2021 Newsletter
Welcome all to the July 2021 APSA newsletter and podcast. The APSA Secretariat hopes that everyone is doing well and staying safe during these difficult times. This past month, we’ve held and participated in many activities, covered below.
Aside from these, we’d also like to inform APSA members about upcoming agendas as per the APSA constitution. All should have received the email with the letter from the APSA President announcing that our Annual General Meeting will be held virtually on 25 November, 2021. We are also calling out for nominations to fill four (4) vacancies on the Executive Committee: Two vacancies for Seed Enterprises or Government Seed Agency, one seat for Seed Association, and one seat for Associate category.
We look forward to receiving nominations from and for dedicated members who wish to volunteer and contribute their knowledge, experience and expertise towards the direction of our beloved association, not only to improve and enhance the benefits of membership, but for the overall sustainability of the seed sector, regionally and internationally.
Nominations will be accepted until 27th August, 2021. Please refer to the announcement sent to all APSA members on July 28 for more details Should you require any clarification about the nomination form or election procedures, please feel free to send your questions to APSA Executive Director Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, regarding another important event and movement for seed sector, the pre-summit of the UN Food Systems Summit was just held in Rome from 26 - 28 July. As you may know, the pre-summit, and the coming Summit are part of a global efforts to transform the agri-food chain in order to meet 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The seed sector has a crucial role in this process and agenda. Be sure to catch up on the proceedings via the UN website.
Click here to watch UN FSS pre-summit sessions on demand.
Another important agenda item for APSA is the 7th Expert Consultation on Phytosanitary Collaboration in the Asia-Pacific, which was held on 29 July. This year we had a strong participation from NPPOs representing 13 countries, in addition to our seed association representatives and resource persons from around the region and world.
This year, we also had the privilege of welcoming the Executive Director of the North American Plant Protection Organization or NAPPO, Dr Stephanie Bloem who presented the framework that her organization has created between public and private sectors, including their work to harmonize diagnostic protocols for seed pests, with a special focus on ToBRFV; we also were updated on the progress of ePhyto implementation in the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka, as well as an update from Dr. Ric Dunkle from the American Seed Trade Association or ASTA on the new ISPM 45 (Requirements for national plant protection organizations if authorizing entities to perform phytosanitary actions).
The Chair of APSA’s Standing Committee on International Trade and Quarantine, Michael Leader provided updates from the industry’s perspective on a number of key developments, while ISF Seed Health Manager, Dr. Rose Souza Richards’ update brought us up to speed on the Systems Approach. A detailed summary report from the meeting is being prepared and reviewed by our SC ITQ, and will be shared with NPPOs and our National Seed Associations in due course. In the meantime, presentations have been sent to all attending NPPOs. In sum, we are excited about all the progress that continues to be made in terms of capacity building, especially with regard to our preparations with APAARI, ISF, CropLife Asia and ASTA for a Project Preparation Grant from the Standards Trade and Development Facility (PPG STDF) to increase ISPM capacities in the region. The NPPOs of pilot countries have provided a lot of useful feedback which will be applied towards the main proposal, which is in process. More on the Consultation is covered in Technical Affairs below.
Last but not least, APSA will be closing the nomination submission process for the recognition award for the Most Influential Plant Breeding Researcher for 2021. We do really appreciate the submissions from APSA members and we are looking forward to hearing from our committees’ selection of the awardees this year. Thank you very much for all nominations. Read on for updates from APSA public-private partnerships, Technical Affairs, Events, and Industry News Events.
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We’re continuing to process registrations for 2021 membership to the Consortium. More details, benefits and timeline for the Consortium can be found here.
Heat Stress Tolerance on Tomato & Pepper special project registration was closed with 14 participating companies, we got 1 more member at the last minute. We are in the LoA signing and payment transfer process , and the project will officially start from August 1st.
We also are very happy to share with you the Field Demo for 2021 consortium exclusive tomato and pepper lines will be held in May/June 2022 in India and the Field demo for 2021 consortium exclusive bittergourd lines will be held in December 2021 or January 2022. These 2 field demo will be open for 2021 consortium members only.
SC Seed Technology - the committee was very happy with the successful event organization of APSA 2nd Seed Technology Webinar under the theme of “Unlocking the power of seed coating” on July 12th. There were total 164 participants joining our Zoom webinar with our two experienced speakers, Mr Simon Watt, CEO of Centor Oceania with topic of Introduction to Seed Coating: Seed Coating technologies and trends in the APAC region, and Dr Rob Pronk, Global Marketing Manager, INCOTEC Group BV and co-chair of the ISF-Seed Applied Technology Committee who presented the topic of Evolution in seed treatment; how a baby becomes a big and bright bodyguard. During the webinar we received so many questions that the speakers could not answer all of them, but don’t worry, APSA helps collect responses of unanswered questions and posts them on this event page. APSA members who wish to see the record of this webinar plus a copy of presentations and Q&A list, please visit https://web.apsaseed.org/events/past-events (log in required for APSA members). Stay tuned for more updates of the 3rd seed tech webinar from the committee!
SC IPR & Biodiversity: Although the committee is scheduled to have a meeting in mid August, they have kept in cose touch via email all throughout the month. First, the committee helped review and approved APSA to co-sign a letter with ISF, CIOPORA, Euroseeds, AFSTA and SAA under the topic of “Contribution in response to the IP public consultation related to draft Explanatory Note on Essential Derived Variety (EDV)”. Besides, APSA and the aforementioned stakeholders continue working under the EDV working group on this topic. More on this wi be shared in the update from the SC IPR&Biodiversity committee below. The committee is also considering welcome new members, more on this next month.
SC International Trade and Quarantine: The committee had 2 important events this month. Starting with the APSA’s 7th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation held online on July 29: There were around a hundred attendees joining this closed event including representatives from national plant protection offices, seed associations, stakeholders and SC ITQ committee. Topics presented and had discussions were Summary of questionnaire from Standard and Trade Development Facility Project Proposal Grant (STDF-PPG), The status of ePhyto Implementation: example shared by NPPOs from South Korea and Sri Lanka, The new establishment of ISPM45 of third party authorization program A North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) pilot for the harmonization of diagnostic protocols for seed pests focused on Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), Regulatory trend—regional industry perspective, Systems Approach progress update by ISF. It was a very productive 3-hour-webinar. The summary report from this expert consultation will be presented in the SC ITQ online technical session in November.
Aside from this, regarding our Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) Project Preparation Grant (PPG), we organized an online workshop for pilot countries on July 30th welcoming representatives from national plant protection organizations in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines while NPPOs from Australia and New Zealand and APPPC representative were invited to join as observers for this event. In the workshop, participants discussed the questionnaire filled by NPPOs pilot countries to plan and support capacity building activities of the NPPOs. The result of the workshop will contribute to the full STDF proposal.
SIG Field Crops has been busy this past month preparing for two important events. The first is for a ‘Train the Trainers’ module for seed production practices, which will focus on intellectual property protection. This session is scheduled to be held on August 20th. The other event is SIG Field Crops first webinar, which will be held on August 26. More details on this latter one are covered in the upcoming events section below. APSA would like to thank the SIG Field Crops committee for their tedious efforts to recommend speakers for both events and also for completing the COVID-19 impacts questionnaire specific to Field Crops, which was reported on in the Q2 magazine. In the next meeting, the committee will discuss plans for our next webinar, in addition to the main annual Technical Session in November, as well as other projects and collaborations such as University Connect Project. Stay tuned!
The SIG Veg & Orn: The committee met on 10 June and has started to plan for the upcoming APSA virtual technical sessions, under the umbrella of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV). The objective of this session is to create awareness of the importance of fruits and vegetables as the source of vitamins and minerals for consumers. And for the seed industry, we have a critical role to deliver to our farmers and consumers safe seeds of fruits and vegetables with high nutritional value. The detailed program of the session will be updated by September. Following are updates of the group’s sub-committees:
The Working Group of Integrated Vegetable and Seed Companies: APSA Secretariat had a meeting with the WIC Chair and Co-chair to start preparing the meeting in November and to review the progress of the University Connect project. We have reached out to the National Seed Associations about this and so far, we have received interest from six countries. Once the framework is set amongst participating National Seed Associations, APSA will announce the details of the program, which we expect to be finalized within the end of this year. We have also discussed the 2nd round of the Train the Trainers (TTT) Program 2021 which will be held on 19th and 20th October 2021. Following the 1st TTT program from October 2020, there will be only one follow-up training session for the trainers which will be arranged on 8th October with the collaboration of UPOV and NKT Academy. The agenda of the program will soon be shared with the trainers.
Disease Resistance Terminology Working Group: As updated last month, 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 in August 2021. Moreover, the DRT members have already started to plan the next crop and disease to identify the differential hosts.
R&D Advisory Group met on 20 July. The “Recognition award for most influential plant breeding researchers” program has been announced and the deadline to submit nomination was 30th July. Awardees will be announced in December 2021. The 5th webinar of the ASCRT series is scheduled to be held on Wednesday 11th August with the theme of “Genome Editing and the Asian Regulatory Landscape”. More updates on The physical Field Day in May 2022 for the consortium members of 2021 is under discussion and a detailed plan will be shared with APSA-WorldVeg Consortium members.
ASIAN SOLANACEOUS & CUCURBITS ROUND TABLE (ASCRT) SESSION 5:
On Wednesday the 11th of August, APSA will be holding Session 5 of the ASIAN SOLANACEOUS & CUCURBITS ROUND TABLE (ASCRT), with the focus on Genome Editing and the Asian Regulatory Landscape. This session will feature 2 guest speakers, Dr. Hiroshi Ezura who will speak on Gene Edited Tomato for Human Health and Mr. Fabrice Mattei who will discuss on What Strategy for Gene-Edited Crops in the Current Legal Uncertainty in Asia and Beyond? Participation is FREE for all APSA Members, but pre-registration is required. For more details and for registration, please visit the official Event Webpage: CLICK
FIELD CROPS: TRAIN THE TRAINERS PROGRAM ON SEED PRODUCTION PRACTICE: TO FOCUS ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION:
An initiative from APSA Special Interest Group Field Crops Committee to organize an exclusive Train the Trainers program to provide best practices for field crops seed production practices on intellectual property rights (IP) protection, starting from breeding to commercialization process. The event is by invitation only and will be held on Friday the 20th of August 2021. For more details, please visit the official Event Webpage: CLICK
FIELD CROPS WEBINAR SESSION 1
Hosted by APSA Special Interest Group for Field Crops, this new webinar series will focus on essential topics related to breeding technologies and market development strategies for field crops. The first session of the Field Crops Webinar will be held on Thursday the 26th of August 2021 and will focus on Breeding for Resilient Field Crops. The webinar will feature 2 guest speakers, Mr. Montree Kongdang from Pacific Seeds Thailand who will discuss Double Haploid Technology in Corn and Dr. B.M. Prasanna from CIMMYT who will present on Breeding and Deploying Climate - Resilient Maize Varieties: Prospects for Asia. Participation is free for all active APSA Members, but pre-registration is required. For more details and for registration, please visit the official Event Webpage. CLICK
SEED TECHNOLOGY WEBINAR 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 Seed Upgrading. Speakers and agenda are still being finalized. Registration will open Friday the 13th of August. Once again, participation is free for all APSA Members but pre-registration is required. For more details, please visit the official Event Webpage. CLICK
APAARI WEBINAR SERIES ON THE APPLICATIONS OF GENE EDITING IN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY IN ASIA-PACIFIC REGION
Applications of gene-editing to advance agricultural sustainability and nutrition security are receiving significant interest, with a rich pipeline of gene-edited plants being developed by public and private sector organizations across the Asian continent. To support advancement in gene editing, the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), will host a Webinar Series on Applications of Gene Editing in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in the Asia-Pacific Region. The webinar series will take place over the course of 3-days and will cover key aspects, including presentations by subject specific experts and followed by panel discussion.
Day 1 of the Webinar Series was already held last month on the 21st of July. Day 2 of the Webinar Series will be held on the 4th of August 2021 focusing on Advancing Genome Edited Plants from Lab to Land. And the final 3rd Day of the Webinar will be held on the 18th of August 2021 focusing on Enabling Policies for Genome Editing in Agriculture, with one of the guest speakers being APSA’s very own Executive Director, Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey.
The webinar series is FREE for all to attend, but pre-registration is required. For more details on the event and how to register, please visit the Event Page: APAARI webinar series
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: AFSTA Congress
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. PBA in Davis Class VIII
THE 17TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SEED TECHNOLOGY 2021
The Seed Association of Thailand, in association with Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi, the Rice Department, the Department of Agriculture Extension, the Forestry Department, the Thai Seed Trade Association, the Plant Breeding and Multiplication Association of Thailand, and the Asia Pacific Seed Association, will hold the 17th National Plant Seeds Symposium at Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi, Ayutthaya, Thailand. The conference will host researchers, academics, and the private sector with the aim of growing Thailand into a global “Seed Hub”. Topics will include information on research and development of seed technology, the direction and framework for seed research for use in the seed industry, and how seed research institutions can solve the problems experienced by the Thai seed industry. Originally planned to be held in June 2021, the event has now been moved to November 2021. Once more details are finalized, we will be sure to inform all members. So please stay tuned for more details.
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:
FAO DG calls for transformation of agri-food systems to achieve SDGs. July 27: Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said that in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, there would need to be transformational changes to policies, mind-sets, and business models. . . .
Lockdowns spreading: Covid case numbers continue to surge throughout the region as governments double down on mass-testing and the imposing of new or renewed restrictions on business activity, movement, vaccination mandates. See below for specifics. . . .
Surging freight, food inflation persists: July 9: Rising freight costs are fuelling concerns of food inflation in import-dependent markets. The cost to ship grains and oilseeds in bulk from production areas in the Americas and Black Sea have reportedly doubled this year. . . .
Monsoon, summer storms sweep through China Seas: Jul 27: Several major storm systems have swept through swathes of the Philippines, Japan and China bringing devastation to livelihoods, crops, infrastructure and public safety . . . .
BPBS launches new website, weighs in on National Food Strategy: The British Society of Plant Breeders Ltd. (BPBS) has launched its new website, and plans to launch a new newsletter to share updates on plant breeding and the seed industry. . . .
ISF Virtual Seed Congress rallies global seed sector on key issues: July 7: The International Seed Federation from 5-7 July held its annual Congress event online for the second year in a row. . . .
Details on these on our international seed industry news page
Much of Australia back in lockdown: July 22: Restrictions on movement and business have been imposed across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. . . .
Farmers group welcomes reopening plan: July 6: The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed a four-phase plan proposed by the National Cabinet on July 2. . . .
ASF Seed Business Convention 2021 postponed. The Australian Seed Federation has announced that this year’s Seed Business Convention will be postponed, with the new dates scheduled . . . .
Demand for Australian wheat in Asia on the up: July 27: Demand for Australian wheat is on an uptrend as traders anticipate prices to continue to rise in the coming months. . . .
SA scientists experiment with microgravity space crops: July 11: The Waite Institute of University of Adelaide is utilizing a A$80,000 microgravity machine to test transgenic crops for space research . . .
More details on these and other stories in the Australia seed industry news page
Salt-tolerant vegetable crop seeds for coast farmers: July 26: Some 10,000 farmers in Bangladesh are being trained in saline agriculture . . . learning how to grow salt-tolerant crops. . .
Modern plant breeding to the rescue: Jul 24: Bangladeshi government and research institutes are working together to develop new crop varieties using modern agriculture techniques. . . .
Vegetable exports, production surge: June 30: The month of April was a strong month for Bangladeshi vegetable exporters. . . .
BSA honors Father of Hybrid Rice: June 17: Following the passing on May 22 of legendary Chinese rice scientist and agronomist, Professor Yuan Longping, father of the hybrid rice, the Bangladesh Seed Association organized a webinar commemorating the late scientist . . .
More on these and more in Bangladesh seed industry news
Quarter Four reopening mulled as restrictions persist: July 27: Though government sources have hinted that the country could be ready to open up to travel as soon as November, other insiders predict that it might not be . . .
Cassava, corn crops lost in drought: July 20: Some 1,300 hectares of cassava crops have been reported destroyed in Pailin province, following nearly three months of severe drought conditions. . . .
More on these and more in Cambodia seed industry news
Typhoon strikes China NE coast: July 26: Typhoon In-Fa (locally called Yan Hua or 烟花) made landfall in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, at around 12:30 pm on Jul 25, with wind gusts reported to be as high as 136.8 kilometers per hour. . . .
Henan crops, infrastructure devastated by downpours, flooding: July 22: Dozens have perished as hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed by floodwaters in the Chinese province of Henan. . . .
China moon rice harvested: July 11: The first crop of "space rice" has been harvested at South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou. The rice was grown from 40 grams of rice seed that landed on the moon and returned to earth . . .
MARA eases seed import burden: July 9: The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) announced on July 8 that to reform the country's seed industry, MARA has recently streamlined the approval process for the import and export of crop seeds . . .
Judiciary interpretation strengthens new variety rights: On July 5, the Supreme People's Court issued the "Several Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on the Specific Application of Legal Issues in the Trial of Disputes over Infringement of New Variety Rights in Plants (2)" Effective July 7, the new judicial interpretation has . . .
Syngenta sells 20% stake in Shanghai IPO: July 3: Syngenta Group, the ChemChina-owned Swiss agrichemical company, filed an application for an initial public offering in order to raise $10 billion on the Shanghai STAR Market. . . .
See all China seed industry news here
Covid controls prevail throughout: July 22: Most of India is under some level of lockdown, with specific restrictions on movement and business varying state to state, city to city. Generally speaking, business is permitted at a limited capacity, and movement between areas is tightly controlled . . .
NSAI & FSII reach a consensus on commercialization framework for superior plant varieties: July 9: The National Seed Association of India (NSAI) and Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) have issued a joint statement announcing that they have reached a consensus on trait value and licensing of seed technology that will benefit Indian farmers. . .
TAAS New publications: The Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS) -- a “vibrant national ‘Think Tank’ under the visionary leadership of Dr Raj S. Paroda” has published and disseminated two new publications of interest to India and the greater regional seed sector . . .
Punjab cropping update: July 9: Kharif (summer) crop sowing is well underway in the state of Punjab with 1.9 million hectares sown at the time of going to press. . . .
Jute bag shortage for crops as plastic alternative mulled: July 1: A shortage of jute bags, necessary for the packaging of food grain under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, is causing crop distribution issues throughout the country. . . .
These stories in more on Indian seed industry news page
Caught between rock and hard place: July: Various media agencies have started dubbing Indonesia as the “Asian coronavirus epicenter” after daily case numbers in July surpassed 50,000 . . .
These stories and more on our Indonesian seed industry page
Nepartak flies by Tokyo, Olympics: Jul 28: A tropical storm, dubbed in Japan as Typhoon Nepartak (not to be confused with the 2016 typhoon of the same name) on July 28 made landfall at the coast of the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi . . .
Local media publishes Seed Act Q&A in English: July 20: The Mainichi Shimbun has answered some common questions about Japan's Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act . . .
Seedling seller admits to infringement of Seed Act: June 28: Local media has publicized the case of a suspected infringement of the newly amended Seed Act . . .
These and more on our Japan seed industry news page
Amendment to deregulate ‘low risk LMOs’: Korean regulators will accept comments until August 15, 2021 on a draft partial amendment of the Transboundary Movement, etc. of Living Modified Organisms Act .
Read these stories and more in our Korea seed industry news
Lockdowns, cases persist as national recovery plan rolled out: July 2021: Business and living restrictions persist throughout Malaysia at varying degrees under the banner of the movement control order (MCO). The level of restrictions vary by region and include . . .
These stories and more in Malaysia seed industry news
Israel govt threatens fourth lockdown: July 22: The government has warned it may impose the country’s fourth COVID-19 lockdown as rising case tallies returned in July. . . .
Saltwater irrigated crops address food insecurity in Saudi Arabia: July 16: A Saudi startup, Red Sea Farms, is nurturing new breeds of crops that are irrigated with seawater. . . .
These stories and more in the Middle East
Economy, livelihoods suffer on multiple fronts: July 26: The ongoing political turmoil compounded by measures linked to rising COVID cases are having severe impacts on the economy, which was forecast by the World Bank to contract by 18% . . .
Farming prospects: There has been an increase in demand for farming equipment and strengthening the cross border trade of pulses …
This and more in Myanmar seed industry news
New New Zealand PVR Bill under consultation: July 14: Following the introduction of a new Plant Variety Rights Bill to Parliament in May, the consultation period has now opened, a process that will conclude on 25 August 2021. . . .
NZGSTA names Agronomist of the Year: Jul 7: Agronomist of the Year Award for wheat industry announced Kerry Thomas of Luisetti Seeds was recognised as agronomist of the year in the United Wheat Growers Bayer Wheat Awards held in Christchurch on Wednesday 7 July. . . .
Kerry Thomas (left) and Ed Luisetti, NZGSTA Grains and Pulses Chair
2021 NZ Grains and Pulses Forum: June 15: The NZ Grain and Seed Trade Association hosted its annual Grains and Pulses Forum held at the Lincoln Events Centre on 15 June. . .
These and more on New Zealand seed industry news
Punjab cropping seed allotment: July 6: The Punjab minister for agriculture, Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi, announced that the Punjab Seed Council (PSC) would provide exotic and imported seed varieties to farmers at a lower price than the current market. . .
Record wheat production, certified seed tracking: July 6: At a meeting of the Wheat Review Committee chaired by the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, record wheat production figures were celebrated . . .
Olive cultivation project: July 5: As a measure to increase sufficiency in oilseed crops, the Pakistan Oilseed Development Board has launched a USD 38 million project to encourage farmers to grow olives . . .
Cotton imports rise as production lags: July 4: Pakistan’s cotton imports reached USD 2.3 billion, a 44% increase, from July 2020-May 2021 (11MFY21) compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year. . . .
Opposition to proposed import hybrid maize seed tax: June 27: As a result of the Finance Bill 2021-22 imported maize seed will now be subject to 17% sales tax and 3% VAT. . . .
Read more on Pakistan seed industry news
Singapore reverts to ‘heightened alert’ as cases return: July 27: Despite the widely touted success of vaccination drive, a COVID case spike returned to Singapore in late July, prompting authorities to revert to phase two “heightened alert” restrictions . . .
Fully automated ‘super tower’ to cultivate strawberries: July 23. A partnership between German vertical farming company and Italian manufacturing company that specializes in automatic vertical warehouses will look to launch fully automated farming systems for high-value fruity crops . . .
These and more on Singapore seed industry news
Thailand tightens Covid-19 measures with new lockdown: July 22: Fresh COVID-19 restrictions and curfews were imposed in Greater Bangkok and southern provinces, as Thailand tallied record case numbers. . . .
Chia Tai’s “Century Star” Watermelon wins prestigious award in the US: Chia Tai’s “Century Star” watermelon variety was recently awarded as a Regional Winner in the internationally renowned All-America Selections® Awards. . . .
These and more on Thailand seed industry news
Philippines brings bac Covid-19 restrictions: 25 July: Concerns over a reversal of the previous downward trend in daily Covid-19 cases have led to an escalation of quarantine levels across the country from 23rd to 31st July. . . .
Rice, corn and other cash crops suffer typhoon wrath: July 24: Based on data from July 24 from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Typhoon Fabian has caused no less than ₱12.38 million in damages, impacting the livelihoods of some 885 farmers . . .
Golden Rice gets biosafety approval for commercial propagation: July 23: The Philippines became the first country in the world where biosafety approval has been given for the commercial production of “Golden Rice” . . .
Bt Eggplant approved for direct use as food, feed or processing: July 23: The Philippine Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) has approved Bt eggplant for direct use as food, feed, or for processing (FFP). . . .
Iowa State reinforces ag biotech, seed systems in PHI: July 21: Iowa State University’s Seed Science Center (ISU-SSC) will roll out a training program this year to develop seed systems and spur agricultural biotechnology applications in the Philippines. . . .
PSIA members partae in launch of National Seed Technology Park: July 9: The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Friday, July 9, kicked off the development of the Philippines’ first National Seed Technology Park (NSTP) at New Clark City (NCC) in Capas, Tarlac . . .
Read more on the Philippines seed industry news
Turkish govt mulls bringing back lockdown: July 28: Turkey’s eatery industry and restaurants are reportedly calling for the government to consider ‘stricter measures’ to allow their businesses to continue to operate should renewed restrictions be imposed . . .
Turkish cropping suffers from drought: July 14: A dearth of rainfall and “excessive use of underground water” over the past year has led to a drought in the Konya Plain and wheat output has declined by at least 30 per cen . . .
These and more on Turkey seed industry news page
Vietnam lockdown update: 25 July: Due to sharply rising Covid-19 cases in the country, around one-third of the country, including the capital Hanoi, has been placed under strict lockdown restrictions. Residents are required to remain at home except when obtaining essential supplies … proposed measures included placing agricultural materials such as seeds and fertilizers on the list of essential commodities . . .
Dragon fruit exports to Aus uninterrupted by COVID restrictions: July 24: Even though many locales in Australia are under lockdown, the ‘Vietnam Dragon Fruit Week’ in Australia was held from 21st July to 27th July . . .
ST25 rice variety shows good adaptability in Binh Dinh Province: 19 July: A trial of the high-quality ST25 rice variety in Binh Dinh Province has shown encouraging results. The trial was conducted by a local seed company over the spring-winter 2020-21 growing season. . . .
Minister of Agriculture pens inspirational letter to agriculture scientists: July 4: Viet Nam Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, Mr Le Minh Hoan expressed his appreciation for the contributions from scientists to advance agricultural innovation . . .
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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