Newsletter: June 2023

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June 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to APSA’s June 2023 Newsletter! New features, watch and listen the exclusive interview HERE. 

Table of Contents 

Introduction / Address from APSA ED

Dear APSA members, colleagues, associates and friends,

Welcome to the June 2023 newsletter.  This is my final letter to members as the Executive Director of APSA. First, let me express gratitude for the unlimited support I received from our past presidents, office bearers, executive committee, technical committees, and especially the APSA Secretariat. All of you have made my work in APSA so memorable and inspiring.

Time does fly, and we are now in the middle of the year already, with so many activities and programs to report on. This month started with the participation of our President (Dr. Manish Patel) and technical advisor (Dr. Shivendra Bajaj) joining the meetings at the World Seed Congress in Cape Town. We received promising report from Dr. Bajaj on possible collaboration with CGIAR under the concept of One CGIAR and Seed Equal as well as updates from their meeting with the ISF secretariat to emphasize on our current collaboration on phytosanitary affairs, plant variety protection and genetic resources.

Then, I, along with Dr. Bajaj and our Event Manager, Mike Kingpayom, along travelled to  Christchurch, New Zealand foru the APSA Executive Committee (EC) meeting, as well as to discuss Congress preparations with Thomas Chin and Sharon Dawe of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association (NZGSTA). We were impressed by the capacity and warm welcome from the NZGSTA, giving us confidence that our delegates will have a great experience in Christchurch this New Zealand, especially considering that this is the first time New Zealand will host the prestigous event.

We have received good feedback from our members following the opening of registration on May 1.

During the EC meeting, board members discussed key priorities for APSA and upcoming programs in 2024. Steven (our communications manager) also shared our communication strategy and plans  for next year as we plan to expand our audiences and collaboration with  press in the region. Furthermore, all key priorities for APSA are covered in the topics for technical sessions of Congress. I would like to encourage all to participate to the technical sessions in Christchurch; alternatively, you can watch the sessions via the APSA Seed Academy platform in 2024. And this year, we still would like to promote “Say No To Seed Piracy" campaign. In addition to our programs, one of the key topics discussed in the EC meeting is a Code of Conduct for APSA members; it is important for APSA to create a healthy environment for members to participate in our activities, especially for trading of high-quality seeds at our Congress. The Code will be proposed for all members to adopt during the annual general meeting (AGM).

In May, I met with Mr. Khalil Hamid (Mekong US Partnership program manager, USDA) and Dr. Stephen Malone (Technical expert, USDA) during their visit to Thailand and Cambodia. I am pleased to share that USDA agreed to continue collaborating with APSA to strengthen  policy and capacity-building for seed trade, with a focus on four countries (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand). APSA, USDA and the American Seed Trade Association or ASTA will be co-organizing a regional workshop in Bangkok later this year, and I will add that APSA is working with USDA and the East Asian Plant Variety Protection (EAPVP) forum to bring more government officers from Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia to participate in the coming EVPVP meeting and international seminar on development of resilient and sustainable agriculture, which is planned 2 – 3 August, 2023 in  Vientiane, Laos.

Regarding an update on our University Connect, on 29 June, APSA with the China National Seed Trade Association, and College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University signed a MoU. All parties committed to the scope of collaboration, which includes exchanging knowledge and expertise between the private sector and academia in order to help narrow skills gaps identified with regard to graduates' skills and seed industry requirements. This is our 4th MoU signed under this program. and we are looking forward to completing MoU signings with another 13 universities from seven countries. Thus, this still continue to be APSA’s priority in the next five years.

From 2024, all universities will be provided one account to access to APSA Seed Academy program and more accounts can be accessed by universities through subscription. The Seed Academy platform currently features seven courses including topics relating to UPOV, Plant Variety Protection, seed technology, field crops and breeding technology for cucurbit crops. We have promoted the platform since May 2023 and I would like to commend our great learner in Mr. Abu Zafar Md. Khorshed Alam Chowdhury from Aus Bangla Agro, Bangladesh. He completed all courses 100%. We would will guage his feedback on the platform, and plan to cover in the next issue of the magazine, and encourage more APSA members to explore this new e-learning platform. Meanwhile, please feel free to share your feedback to Kuna ( Currently, we found that only 42 members have logged in to APSA Seed Academy platform.

In closing, I would like to again express my sincere gratitude to APSA for providing me a great platform to work on. I am grateful for the vision of our founders to value the need for a regional association for seed since 1994. The mission of APSA is still providing a clear scope for association till now. “Sustainable agriculture through the production and trade of quality seeds for the world”; it remains paramount for all of us to keep focusing and working toward this mission as we continue to face and cope with a myriad of challenges. APSA is where my heart is and it will still be though my role will change. I remain committed to the betterment of the seed sector regionally and globally. Until we meet again, I wish you all of you good health, happiness, prosperity and success. Khob Khun Kha.



May Chodchoey,
APSA Executive Director

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2023 APSA Seed Technology Webinar Session 2 - Seed Drying

On Tuesday, 25 July 2023, APSA will hold Session 2 of the 2023 APSA Seed Technology Webinar. This session will focus on Seed Drying and will feature 2 guest speakers. This event is FREE for all active APSA Members to attend. For more details on event agenda, speaker profiler and how to register, please visit

Asian Cucurbits Round Table 2023



2023 APSA Seed Technology Webinar Session 3 - Seed Disinfection

On Tuesday, 12 September 2023, APSA will hold Session 3 of the 2023 APSA Seed Technology Webinar. This session will focus on Seed Disinfection. As we are currently finalizing the webinar agenda and speakers, please stay tuned for more details. This event is FREE for all active APSA Members to attend. For more details on event agenda, speaker profiler and how to register, please visit


Philippines Hybrid Rice & Corn Study Tour


APSA’s Special Interest Group for Field Crops would like to invite all APSA members to attend a special “Hybrid Rice and Corn Study Tour in the Philippines”. Organized by APSA SIG Field Crops Committee and Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA) in partnership with the Rice Board, The Study Tour will be held 17 – 23 September 2023.

The tour has been designed for participants to gain new knowledge on hybrid rice and hybrid corn, exchange practices and knowledge with institutions and seed companies in the Philippines. The program itinerary also includes a visit of leading field crops and seed processing companies, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), hybrid rice seed production and commercial demo and the National Rice Technology Forum Demonstration and Technology forum for hybrid rice.

Participation for the Hybrid Rice and Corn Study Tour is only 2,200 USD and will cover meals, local transportation in the Philippines (bus and one way air ticket to Davao) and hotel accommodations in the Philippines. Maximum participants allowed is 40 persons, where all delegates are responsible to cover their airport transfer in the Philippines and their round-trip travel between their country and the Philippines.

For more details on study tour agenda and how to register, please visit


Seed Vigor Testing Workshop

APSA, in collaboration with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and the Department of Agriculture of Thailand will be hold a Seed Vigour Testing Workshop from 26 – 28 September 2023 at the KU Laboratory at Vachiranusorn Building, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Focus of the workshop will include species of interest to APSA members, in-house development of vigor tests and the application of new technologies.  This program covers four of the validated vigour tests, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Accelerated Ageing (AA), Controlled deterioration (CD) and Radicle Emergence (RE). The workshop will describe the current validated test methods and how the conditions for the test were established. Practical work will apply the validated test methods to species of interest to APSA members, using test conditions selected from research papers in which the validated tests have been applied to sweetcorn and species from the Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae. The test results will be used to describe how appropriate test conditions are determined. Important aspects of test development will be discussed, including field and glasshouse trials. In addition, we shall show how image analysis can be applied in vigor testing. In addition to lectures and hands-on practice, participants will provide information based on their experience which will form the basis of discussions.

Participation for the is event is 350 USD for APSA Members and 400 USD for Non-APSA Members, with a maximum of only 50 participants allowed. For more details on agenda, speaker profile and how to register, please visit


2023 Asian Seed Congress


This year’s 2023 Asian Seed Congress will be held at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Center in Christchurch, New Zealand from the 20th to the 24th of November 2023 and is co-hosted by the New Zealand Grain & Seed Trade Association (NZGSTA). This year’s congress will introduce a new program where delegates can benefit from an additional half day of trading and meetings. Also available at this year’s congress will be 150 trading tables, 17 semi-private meeting rooms, 3 private meeting rooms and 30 regular exhibition booths and 2 super booths, all located on a single floor.

We would like to announce that the ASC 2023 Early Bird Registration Period has just ended. Pease be advised that any pending invoice must be made before 14 July, if not, then your Congress Delegate Registration rate will change from the early bird rate of 700 USD to 750 USD, and your booking for Trading Tables, Meeting Rooms and/or Exhibition Booths will be cancelled.

We are also happy and proud to announce that withing the first 2 months alone, we already have over 650 registered delegates. All 150 trading tables and 3 private meeting rooms have already been booked, and there are only 8 Semi-Private Meeting Room and 9 Regular Exhibition Booths left!

If you are planning on attending this year’s congress, then we highly recommend registering early since acquiring a visa to enter New Zealand may take up to 3-months for some countries. Also, please make sure to book your hotel accommodation early since November is High Season in Christchurch and rooms are running out fast!

For more information on congress agenda, official floor plan, New Zealand Visa & Import Policy, how to register and other congress related details, please visit the official event page at



6th China International Seed Expo (CIEE 2023)


Attention international crop seed companies looking to gain entry and tap into one of the world's largest and most lucrative #cropseed markets, mark your calendars for the 6th China International Seed Expo (CIEE 2023), which is scheduled November 5-10, 2023 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China. Due to popular demand, this year's expo will again include a Crop Seed sub-area, showcasing products, services and technology from leading domestic and international Seed Company representatives. Prospective exhibitors should not hesitate to inquire and register as the May 31 registration deadline is rapidly approaching. More details, registration link:

Mike Kingapayom

APSA Event Manager

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Public-Private Partnerships

Welcome to APSA Technical Affairs, as usual let's start with public-private partnerships. Following up last month with our interviews from the WorldVeg Headquarters in Tainan, this month we bring you several more APSA Insights in the following video link:

This month we hear from several World Vegetable Center scientists, including Dr. Derek Barchenger (Vegetable Breeder – Pepper); Dr. Narinder Dhillon (Principal Plant Breeder – Cucurbits); Dr. Ya-ping Lin (Omics Breeding)
and Dr. Assaf Eybishitz, (Scientist – Tomato Breeding)

Speaking of the WorldVeg Consortium, don't miss our full report from the annual meeting and field day last month in Tainan, which is featured in Asian Seed and Planting Material download link below. 
Finally, on the topic of public-private partnerships, yesterday, June 29, APSA signed its fourth Memorandum of Understanding under the University Connect Program; this agreement  was with China National Seed Trade Association and our second China institution, which also happens to be the university I attended. 

Read full details in this link here.
Enabling Tomorrow's Seed Industry - APSA Seed
That's all for this month from me, and look forward to catching up again next month!

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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Technical Affairs Updates

Standing Committees and Special Interest Groups

This month all 5 SCs/SIGs committee are finalizing the agenda of APSA Asian Seed Congress Technical Sessions. The following is a summary review of the APSA SC/SIG activities for June:

Standing Committee on Seed Technology:

First, we are thrilled to announce a significant milestone for Bangladesh's seed industry. The MNT Seed Testing Laboratory, a division of Lal Teer Seed Limited led by our Seed Technology Committee Member, Md. Azizul Hoque, who serves as the Deputy Manager of the lab, has become the first lab in the country to receive accreditation from the prestigious International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). This accomplishment highlights Bangladesh's commitment to seed quality and underscores the lab's exceptional standards. For more information, visit

This month the Working group of APSA Seed Technology webinar session 2 on seed drying has been working very hard to finalize the prestigious speakers for this session to be held on July 25th. Stay tuned for more details!

Standing Committee on IPR & Biodiversity:

The SC IPR & Biodiversity committee is currently engaged in email discussions to finalize the APSA Congress Workshop agenda. The workshop revolves around the theme of "Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV): A perspective from breeders." The committee members are diligently collaborating to ensure a comprehensive and insightful program. They aim to address the challenges and opportunities related to EDV, focusing on the perspective of breeders. Additionally, they emphasize the flagship technical session of the SC IPR & Biodiversity, which the agenda is under development. As the committee fine-tunes the agenda, you are encouraged to stay tuned for more updates.

Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine:

Although the committee does not have a scheduled meeting for this month, they remain vigilant in monitoring seed regulatory updates. In addition, stakeholders of APSA SC ITQ recently had an online meeting to address an important advocacy activity related to Pakistan NPPOs on the import condition of cucumber and bitter gourd seeds to Pakistan, Cucurbit aphis-borne yellow virus (CABYV) that was added as a quarantine pest on Pakistan import condition since the past few months. Stay tuned for more updates.

Special Interest Group Field Crops:

The APSA Field Crops Webinar on Millets, held on June 15, was a resounding success. Organized in commemoration of the International Year of Millets (#IYM2023), the webinar featured two distinguished guest speakers. Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi, Former Director of ICAR – Indian Institute of Millets Research & Technical Consultant at Advanta Seeds, delivered a presentation on "Enabling global millet makeover for food and nutrition security in the climate change scenario." Additionally, Dr. Rajendra Singh Mahala, President of Research – Field Crops at SeedWorks International Pvt. Ltd, shared insights on the "Status of millets improvement and the way forward." The webinar served as a valuable platform to explore the significance of millets and their role in addressing food security and climate change challenges.

Join us on the exciting "Hybrid Rice and Corn Study Tour in the Philippines" from September 17 to 23, 2023. Organized by the APSA SIG Field Crops Committee and the Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA) in collaboration with the Rice Board, this tour promises an immersive and informative experience for hybrid rice and corn seed production. Participants will have the opportunity to visit the renowned Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and Prasad Seeds in Pangasinan. Day 3 will include visits to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for insights into golden rice projects and the hybrid rice R&D center of SL Agritech in Sta. Cruz. In Davao, on Day 4 and Day 5, explore the Davao Oriental seed production area and witness hybrid rice seed production and commercial demos. Day 6 offers an insightful journey through corn fields in Kapalong, Davao del Norte, followed by leisurely sightseeing in Davao. Register now in this link to secure your spot as seats are limited for this exclusive tour. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to delve into the world of hybrid rice and corn research and cultivation in the beautiful Philippines.

Special Interest Group on Vegetables and Ornamentals:

The SIG Veg & Orn committee have been communicating via emails with sub-groups and the committee members on the activity updates. The SIG Veg & Orn study tour on urban and hi-tech farming will be organized in Japan with the tour duration is still tentatively early next year. On another note, it was agreed on the workshop with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) on the topic of “Seed Vigor Testing Workshop”. The venue will be in Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand. Stay tuned for more updates on upcoming events and initiatives from the committee.

The Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Seed Companies or WIC:

This month, the WIC April meeting’s action point of formulating a new sub-group focusing on vegetable seed production was discussed in the APSA Executive Committee meeting. June is also a prestigious month to sign another MOU under the University Connect Program with China Agriculture University and China National Seed Trade Association, more details on APSA website and social media.  

The R&D Advisory Group:

First, we would like to congratulate Dr. Seetharam Annadana, Chair of APSA’s R&D AG who was formally recognized by the Society for Promotion of Horticulture -- during their annual meeting at ICAR in Bengaluru in early June -- for his outstanding research contributions in the field of Horticulture, especially for his successes in using innovative techniques and technology to enable farmers and breeders in the Asia Pacific better screen for thrips and other costly pests, thus savings millions and ensuring sustained and enhanced production of quality seeds and vegetable food crops.

Second, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Latha J. Reddy from Bayer has joined the APSA R&D Advisory Committee. As a new member, Dr. Reddy brings a wealth of expertise to the group, and we eagerly anticipate her contributions to APSA R&D AG activities. Let's extend a warm welcome to Dr. Reddy as she joins our esteemed committee.

Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to Dr. G. Radhakrishnan for his significant contributions to the APSA R&D AG group since 2021. His dedication and expertise have been invaluable to our collective mission. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Radhakrishnan for his remarkable work.

We are excited to update you on the recent activities of the APSA R&D Committee. In the second week of June, we held a productive committee meeting where we invited scientists from the World Vegetable Center to discuss potential venues for the upcoming APSA-WorldVeg Consortium Annual Workshop. Besides other agenda topics, the discussions were fruitful, and we anticipate promising collaborations in the near future.

Last but not least, we are happy to share the success of the APSA Solanaciars – Thank God It's Friday (TGIF) Session 2, titled "The Omics of Solanaceous Crops," which took place on June 23rd. Renowned researchers, Dr. Maarten Jongsma and Dr. Byoung-Cheorl Kang, delivered insightful presentations on topics such as novel breeding platforms for vegetable improvement and advancements in pepper breeding using cutting-edge technologies. Thanks to the great support from the R&D AG committee, especially from Mr Marcel Sturre who moderated this session.

The Disease Resistance Terminology Working Group or DRT:

From the latest DRT Bittergourd Powdery Mildew Subgroup meeting on May 31st, the group agreed to change the plan to send seeds via one of the Indian co-applicants because World Vegetable Center South and Central Asia office could not provide additional information required to send the seeds. WorldVeg and the 2 Indian companies are working together with APSA on the documents preparation as well as to update the National Biodiversity of India about the changes. As for the Watermelon Fusarium Wilt subgroup, we are still waiting for the completion of the phytosanitary process. Once seeds are shipped to Thailand, the seed multiplication process can be started.

That's 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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Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities

As part of APSA’s sustained digitalization and digitization efforts, in 2023 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 2023 Digital Media Sponsorship Rates and Media Kit:


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Asian Seed magazine Vol. 29 No.2 (Quarter 2, April - June 2023)

No password required

Volume 29, Issue Two of Asian Seed & Planting Material features updates and insights on various movements, projects and initiatives in the region. Starting with a timely update from APSA president, Dr. Manish Patel and outgoing executive director Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey, who shares a heartfelt final address, while also thouroughly covering APSA's latest progress with initiatives and stakeholder collaboration in the region and world. This issue also features an eight-page special coverage of interntional seed news from Seed World, as well as an Asia-Pacific seed export figure report showing the trend in 2022 vs the previous four years; there is comprehensive coverage of important regional meetings APSA hosted, including the annual Seed Association meeting and the midterm of the Working Group of Integrated Vegetable Companies. Aside from this, there are three exclusive interviews featured, with the new CEO of East-West Seed Group; APSA Past President and Honorary Lifetime Member, Dr. Zhang Mengyu, and with the national organizing committee of the 2023 Asian Seed Congress host -- New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association's Thomas Chin. This and so much more. Download by clicking thumbnail above.

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