Workshop: Surveillance measures of ToBRFV on tomato and pepper seeds in Thailand

KHON KAEN: Some 120 quality-control, production and lab managers from a dozen Thailand-based seed production companies yesterday (December 12) participated in a workshop to strengthen capacity in diagnostics, testing and sampling for tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV).

The Workshop, titled "Surveillance measures of ToBRFV on tomato and pepper seeds in Thailand", was held at the Charoen Thani Hotel Hotel, Khon Kaen, in Thailand’s Northeastern region.

It was jointly organized by the Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance (APSA) and the Thai Seed Trade Association (THASTA) in collaboration with Thailand’s Department of Agriculture (DoA) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).

In recent months, pospiviroids and tobamoviruses have become an increasing concern for exporters of pepper and tomato seed.

As reported by Asian Seed Magazine recently, the National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) of the EU and the US recently introduced new phytosanitary requirements for the import of tomato and pepper seeds.

In sum, all seed shipments to the EU must be tested and certified to be free from ToBRFV, while all seed shipments to the US must be free from pospiviroids and ToBRFV.

(see page 40 here for full details)

It is very important for seed production companies to be aware of the latest testing methods and phytosanitary certificate requirements,” said APSA Executive Director, Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey.

Under the private-public-partnership platform, APSA actively engages and collaborates with government and academic stakeholders to develop and offer educational and capacity-building opportunities for members of the private sector.

The latest workshop is one such example of how the platform can effectively and simultaneously address the needs of all sectors.

The workshop was formally opened by Vice President if ThaSTA Dr Boonyanath Nathwong, who welcomed participants with an opening address.

She noted that the main focus of the workshop was to work together to ensure seed companies in Thailand understand the new requirements and are prepared to comply so that impact on trade is minimal.

Next, APSA Executive Director, Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey presented an overview on international seed trade trends with respect to phytosanitary measures, challenges and opportunities, especially on the advantages of the Global Systems Approach to Phytosanitary Clearance for International Seed Movement.

After that, Ms Preyapan Pongsapich (Plant Protection Research and Development Office, DoA) presented an overview of the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (Tobamovirus, ToBRFV), reviewing its history and the implications of the latest rules and regulations.

This was followed by a talk by Dr. Sumitra Kantrong (Thai Seed Trade Association and APSA Executive Committee member), who presented on production plot care and pest management principles and guidelines.

  Next, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Petcharat Thummabenjapone (Plant Science and Agricultural Resources, Section Plant Pathology, Khon Kaen University) reviewed steps in carrying out seed production plot inspections and collecting samples for testing.

Building on this, Ms Wanpen Srichart (Plant Protection Research and Development Office, DoA) gave a talk to advise participants on preparing equipment for plot-testing officials.

Finally Ms Wasana Rungsawang (Plant Protection Research and Development Office, DoA) presented on the specific steps in testing for ToBRFV and viroids for the purpose of obtaining required certification for export purposes.