Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine

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APSA Virtual Technical Session 2020
Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine
Monday the 23rd of November 2020
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm (GMT+7/ICT)
12:00 pm -
12:05 pm 
  • Welcome Speech
  • Mr. Tahir Saleemi - APSA President
12:05 pm -
12:10 pm
  • Opening Remarks
  • Mr. Michael Leader - Chair, SC ITQ
12:10 pm -
12:30 pm
  • Access to Seeds Index presents the South & Southeast Asia Landscaping Report
  • Q&A Session
  • Ms. Aarti Misal - World Benchmarking Alliance
12:30 pm -
1:00 pm 
  • Lab Accreditation Practices shared by ASTA
  • Q&A Session
  • ASTA Video
1:00 pm -
1:05 pm 
Online Coffee Break
1:05 pm -
1:25 pm
  • OECD Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Seed Sector
  • Mr. Csaba Gaspar - OECD Seed Schemes Program Manager
1:25 pm -
1:40 pm
  • Summary of the 6th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation
  • APSA's Standing Committee on Interantional Trade & Quarantine
1:40 pm -
1:55 pm
  • Q&A Discussion
  • Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc - Moderator
1:55 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Final Remarks

Ms. Abigail Struxness - Co-Chair, SC ITQ

2:00 pm Session Close


Aarti Misal
World Benchmarking Alliance 

Aarti Misal is leading the research for the Access to Seeds Index. Prior to joining World Benchmarking Alliance, Aarti has worked with several seed companies based in India and has experience in providing market intelligence data for companies involved in Foods and Beverages, Seeds, Agricultural Commodities, and Agrochemical sector. She has comprehensive knowledge of Intellectual Property and Plant Variety Protection, Biosafety and Regulatory affairs and Agribusiness Consultancy. Aarti believes that the private sector has a crucial role to play in advancing the SDGs, and benchmarking is a powerful tool in a way to measure and incentivize business impact towards a sustainable future.

The South and Southeast Asia regional landscaping report contain an overview of the seed sector landscape in the region as well as in each country in scope. The first regional Access to Seeds Index for South and Southeast Asia was published in 2019. The regional index evaluated the efforts of 24 leading seed companies to improve access to quality seeds of improved varieties for smallholder farmers in the region. The Index seeks primarily to identify leadership and good practices, providing an evidence base for the discussion on where and how the seed industry can step up its efforts. The second South and Southeast Asia regional landscaping report feature selected seed companies for the 2021 Access to Seeds Index assessing their effort to support smallholder farmer productivity. It also includes an overview of regional actors active in seed sectors and how the World Benchmarking Alliance and the Access to Seeds Index aim to collaborate with selected key actors.

Csaba Gaspar
OECD Seed Schemes Program Manager

Csaba Gaspar is the Programme Manager of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Seed Schemes. In this capacity he ensures the co-ordinaton of the implementation of the OECD’s  international seed varietal certification systems in the 61 participating countries of the Seed Schemes. 

Mr Gaspar has an MSc in Horticulture with specialisation in Biotechology as well as an MSc in Geo-Information Systems (GIS).  He has 18 years of experiences in standardisation and certification of agricultural products such as agricultural seeds, fruits & vegetables, and forest reproductive materials. Before joining the OECD in 2006 he worked for the National Food Chain Safety Office  of Hungary as inspector and coordinator of international relations. He was the Chair of the Specialised Session on Standardisation of Dry and Dried Produce  and Vice-Chair of the Working Party 7 on Agricultural Quality Standards of The United Nation Economic Commission for Europe in 2005 and 2006. 

The necessary restrictions on movement and transport put in place by governments to protect their people from COVID-19 have the potential to seriously affect the production, certification, distribution and cost of seed. In such uncertain times, countries cannot afford this additional risk to their food systems. As such, the OECD Seed Schemes Delegates have been working together with the Secretariat to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the seed sector and develop solutions that ensure high quality seed production and international trade continues uninhibited. The OECD published the results in a blog:  Policy responses to COVID-19 in the seed sector to inform policy makers and other stakeholders of the challenges facing the industry.

In order to successfully support the seed sector through this unprecedented crisis, policy makers need greater visibility over seed breeding, production, certification and trade. As such, the OECD Seed Schemes in collaboration with the Japanese government, is in the process of analyzing the resilience of the international seed market during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a case study of the Asian seed market. ISF and APSA are key partners in this work.  In addition, the OECD is currently exploring the feasibility to develop a digital seed information system that provides countries with greater visibility over seed production, certification, and potentially flows.