USDA, APSA and ASTA enhance Cambodian capacity in Seed Quality Management Workshops

USDA, APSA and ASTA enhance Cambodian capacity in Seed Quality Management Workshops

The United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service (USDA-FAS) on October 28 joined efforts with Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance (APSA) and American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) to co-organize the first of two online Seed Quality Management System workshops for more than 60 Cambodian officials and academicians.

The workshops are the latest component of the Seed Trade Capacity Building Project in the Lower Mekong Region funded under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership (MUSP), and build on the organizations’ previous collaboration facilitated through what was formerly known as the Lower Mekong Initiative. More details about MUSP Seed program here.

Organized at the request of the Cambodian delegation, this latest workshop was attended by officers from Cambodia’s Department of Crop Seed (DCS) and National Laboratory of Agriculture (NAL) – under the General Directorate of Agriculture – the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Phnom Penh and observers from the Department of Agriculture, Thailand, in addition to staff from APSA and the USDA.

Inaugurated and moderated by Mr Khalil Hamid (Program Manager, Office of Global Programs, USDA-FAS), the first day’s opening presentation was delivered by Todd Erickson (Laboratory Supervisor, Seed Regulatory and Testing Division of USDA), who gave an overview on Seed Quality Management Systems in the scope of developing, reviewing and maintaining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other best practices related to record keeping, and organizing documents related to seed quality.

This was followed by a Q&A session with participants , Mr. Erickson and Dr Stephen R. Malone (U.S. OECD Seed Schemes Program Manager), before closing remarks were delivered by APSA Executive Director Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey.

The follow-up workshop will be held on November 2 and cover ISTA (International Seed Testing Association) Accreditation Standard for Seed Testing and Sampling and a component on staff training. Stand by for updates.