Quality Seed | Quality Life
May 2020 Newsletter
Greetings from the APSA Secretariat,
As we get into full swing of late-spring, early-summer season sowing in the Northern Hemisphere, or late-Autumn, early-winter sowing in the Southern Hemisphere, the Asia-Pacific region is seeing both positive developments and sustained challenges alike.
As we’e got a lot to cover and information to relay this month, you may find it more convenient to download and listen to the podcast instead..
It has now been a full two months that most countries have been in some type of lockdown. Here in Thailand and many other countries in the region, some aspects of life are slowly returning to normal, as restrictions ease, and the economy starts to open up. The APSA Secretariat recently returned to in-office shifts and will implement a fully staffed Bangkok office from June.
Luckily for us, we’re already a small team, fully prepared with PPE, sanitary and social distancing protocol as per the latest Public Health Recommendations. Indeed, the ‘new normal’ is here, and includes things like adhering to social (physical) distancing, stringent habitual sanitation and the implementation of contact tracing. Perhaps the most important new trend from all this a growing emphasis on digital communications platforms, as travel continues to be restricted or limited.
No doubt, digital and online platforms is the future of society and industry. This is especially true for the seed industry and concerned stakeholders. That said, to make it more convenient for you to navigate through this comprehensive newsletter, click any of the sections links at your will:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Seed Industry News Round-up
- New Zealand
- The Philippines
APSA has actively been preparing for such a transition, long before Covid-19. In the past few years, we have put more emphasis on developing and expanding digital platforms and social media and this has proved to be a necessary strategy that has allowed our organization to thrive even in such a time of uncertainty. Following are the salient points on this topic:
- All of APSA’s technical committees continue to meet online via teleconference medium, and we are starting to emphasize the virtual platform for other meetings and events:
- In April we held our first virtual meeting with our larger WIC group of about 30 members. It proved a great success.
- Earlier this month we held our first virtual workshop with the WorldVeg vegetable breeding consortium and trialed 3rd party broadcasting solutions (See Technical Affairs and Events sections below)
- We worked with CNSTA to hold a three day online seminar or webinar open to the public using all of our experience and tools and capabilities. More details in Events and News below.
- Later this year APSA will be launching a new website and membership platform to better address the needs of our members in this increasingly digital world. A lot of improvements will be introduced in terms of functionality, content sharing and accessibility. Stay tuned!
- Meanwhile we’d also like to highlight similar digitization initiatives from our key stakeholders
- ISF will be holding their first Virtual Congress. Details in News section below.
- We continue to engage our international stakeholders such as the IPPC and UPOV, specifically to help promote the IPPC’s e-Phyto, or electronic phytosanitary certificates, and PRISMA PBR online registration tool. People are seeing the advantage of such systems more during this time and we encourage you to find out more about these directly from them as well as through APSA’s educational materials.
- Crop Life Asia has participated, organized online seminars, such as the one they did with APO early in April…
- The FAO and IRRI also successfully organized a public webinar using Zoom and Youtube live.
- Details about these initiatives will be thoroughly covered in our Q2 edition of Asian Seed Magazine, out in June, so please stay tuned.
APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium updates
- On May 12, we had our annual workshop online in video conference format. WorldVeg scientists updated consortium members on tomato breeding and progress on insect resistance, pepper breeding and cucurbit breeding. The scientists also presented ideas for special projects funding. We have received positive responses from the consortium members that the video conference was very fruitful and informative. Consortium members received all workshop vdo and Q&A discussion which were sent directly to their email.
- Although this event is only exclusive for consortium members, WorldVeg has decided to publicly share one of the annual workshop series on the “Update on WorldVegTomato Breeding and Progress on Insect Resistance by Dr Peter Hanson” on APSA Youtube channel. See link in Events update below.
- We welcome APSA company members in the Asia and Pacific region who have a breeding program and interested to develop your varieties with disease resistance, improve quality traits and enhance nutrition, for example. Please join us in the APSA–WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium to learn more and access all presentations from our expert scientists.
APSA Standing Committees and Special Interest Groups
- SC Seed Technology is ready to welcome a new member to join his first meeting next month.
- SC International Trade & Quarantine has decided to host the 6th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation via virtual format as we are concerned about travel restrictions for national plant protection officers.
- In SIG field crops, we are concluding the survey of the working group of integrated field crops companies and will update with SIG field crops members via email.
- In SIG Vegetables and Ornamentals, we launched the second round of our Covid19 affects survey, which concludes today, May 29. This time we included all members, not just enterprises. Results are being analyzed and a report will feature in Asian Seed in June.
- Besides, the working group of integrated vegetable seed companies are also working on follow up action plans from the meeting in April such as the working group of disease resistance nomenclature and the working group of APSA plant breeding innovation (PBI) position paper.
- Last but not least, we still have regular meetings with APSA R&D Advisory Group on Vegetables & Ornamentals which is a sub-group of SIG Vegetables and Ornamentals to provide comments on technical proposals. The R&D group is working on an initiative to identify top breeders and/or pathologists in the region. Stand by for more on this next month.
As mentioned above, APSA is emphasizing digital platforms for our meetings and activities in the near and medium terms. APSA has been strong in this department for many years, but indeed this crisis has provided us more fuel and incentive to improve further.
- All of our technical committees had been meeting via teleconference every two months, but this was for smaller groups. We continue to meet as normal but now we have even more active participation in every meeting, as more and more people are working from home and getting used to the idea of the ‘new normal’ of tele-interaction.
- As mentioned last month, In April we held our first virtual meeting with our larger WIC group of about 30 members, which proved to be successful and smooth
- Raising the bar even further, earlier this month we held our first virtual workshop with the WorldVeg vegetable breeding consortium. We had nearly 200 participants without any technical issues. In order to accommodate wider audiences, we started to use additional broadcasting options, such as Youtube Live and Tencent in mainland China. As mentioned above, the video on the “Update on WorldVegTomato Breeding and Progress on Insect Resistance by Dr Peter Hanson” is now posted on Youtube here:
- Taking it to the next level, just this week we worked with CNSTA to hold a two day three session online seminar or webinar, which we open to the public using all of our experience and tools and capabilities..In addition to Zoom and Youtube Live, we also used Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn to publicly promote the event. All in, we had participation of over 50,000 viewers all around the world. Including APSA members, stakeholders and hundreds (thousands) from the general public. See more details in Regional Seed News below.
Other Events in the horizon
- ISF Virtual Congress. June 8 – 10. Registration is free for this event so if you have not registered yet, you can do so at their website, see news link below.
- Euroseeds Congress is still scheduled in October in Malta. Stand by for updates from thiem on this.
- From the APSA region, we’d like to encourage you to consider joining the Korean Seed Expo, which is still planned to be held this year in the K Seed Valley this October, just outside of the city of Gimje. We’ve also been informed that the 2nd Cruciferous Vegetable Expo in Xingtai is planning to move forward in October. Stand by for more details and confirmations about these and other events, which we’ll relay in the APSA newsletter and Asian Seed Magazine. Watch this space
APSA, CNSTA unite seed industry voice in webinar on Covid19 Impacts
APSA and the China National Seed Trade Association (CNSTA) successfully organized a three-session, two-day online seminar (May 26 and 27), which featured dozens of seed industry experts and executives representing national and regional seed associations, as well as leading seed enterprises ….
International Seed Federation to hold Virtual Congress 8 – 10 June
ISF Secretary General Michael Keller says, “The International Seed Federation, as the voice of the private seed sector, is not staying silent,” despite postponement of the ISF’s World Seed Congress 2020 in South Africa: to fill the gap, his organization invites all to the ISF’s interactive, no-cost Virtual Congress, streaming live 8 – 10 June and accessible through 17 June. ….
Seed movement under COVID-19: ISF engages region reps
ISF has engaged leaders from regional and national seed associations in a series of video Q&As to get insights on how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted the industry. Special thanks to: AFSTA, APSA, Euroseeds, SAA, SANSOR, Tunisian Seed Association, China Seed Association, Australian Seed Federation, Plantum, ANOVE, ASTA and ANPROS ….
ISTA holds first ever ISTA Rules Meeting
The International Seed Testing Association’s 2020 Rules Session meeting was held in the virtual format for the first time. Held on May 19, the meeting, which is part of the process of updating ISTA Rules provided a glance over the 2021 edition changes proposed by ISTA members ….
EPSA Exec. Director interviewed by Germination
APSA Executive Director, Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey (May) was featured in an interview with Canada-based Germination magazine, in which she shared her ideas, thoughts and experiences about the direction and priorities of the Asia-Pacific seed industry, especially with regards to Intellectual Property Rights …
Global Cotton Industry Freefalls with Reduced Asian Demand
Seed World Magazine published an article 12 May on plummeting cotton demand arising from COVID-19, with severe effect on the global cotton supply chain: “Unexpected reduction in cotton mill use data is observed across all of the major cotton spinning countries ….
Amphan Ravages Eastern India and Bangladesh
The worst cyclone in 100 years swept through India and Bangladesh 20th May killing at least 102 people. Damage to built-up areas and farms was estimated at US$13 billion in India; US$130 million in Bangladesh. The U.N. children’s fund (UNICEF) said the storm and its after-effects ….
Voracious locust swarms prey on Pakistan, India and Iran
A devastating pest is rapidly eating its way through farmland in West and South Asia, and the damage mounting. As if the threat of Fall Armyworm weren’t worrying enough, now agriculture officers in Pakistan, India and Iran are rallying to fight swarms of hungry, migratory locusts. Believed to have originated in Africa and the Middle East, the pests since last year have ….
SA’s Klein Karoo ISTA Accredited
ISTA, via LinkedIn, on May 22 announced accreditation of APSA-member Klein Karoo Seed Quality Service Laboratory in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. The certificate is valid till 29 January, 2023 and covers sampling, purity, germination, and weight tests for cereals, small legumes, pulses, vegetables and other agricultural crops …
Recycled battery dust as fertilizer trials in WA
Mixed metal dust (MMD) extracted from recycled batteries is being explored as a potentially promising new fertilizer supplement. Trials in Western Australia’s wheatbelt region involve using zinc and manganese from recycled batteries as a potential source of ‘micronutrients’ in fertilisers.” ….
MAFF and IRRI ink cooperation
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have signed a four-year memorandum to engage in a “Partnership for Cooperation in Technical Science in Research and Training on Basic Rice and Rice Production in the Food Production System”. The aim of the 2020-2023 agreement is to further strengthen cooperation between the two organisations in crops research and development activities, complementing work that has ….
Pursat farmers get free paddy seeds
Officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries distributed fragrant rice seeds to some 150 families in eight villages in the Sre Sock commune of the Kandieng district, Pursat province. According to the Cambodia Express News the initiative took place on May 19, each farmer recipient was given 30 kilograms of paddy seed ….
Free seeds, safe vegetable production seminar
Central and provincial government officials were photographed at a meeting with other agriculture officers publicizing a semiinar and campaign to distribute free vegetable seeds and instruction to agriculturalists to cope with the ongoing covid-19 emergency ….
Yuan Longping reveals three year vision for Hunan
Yuan Longping, China’s father of hybrid rice has ambitions for increased productivity in Hunan. Speaking on May 18 at an opening ceremony for the ” Yuelu Mountain Seed Industry Innovation Center” the legendary breeder and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering said that he hoped that within three years, rice yields in Hunan would ….
Chongqing issues guidelines for seed quality disputes
In order to better facilitate the enforcement and implementation of the Seed Law, Chongqing Municipality has issued guidelines on handling disputes related to crop seed quality, and “effectively safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of seed users and operators” ….
Space mutagenesis breeding of Inner Mongolian varieties
On May 8, after 67 hours of on-orbit flight, one of China’s new-generation spacecraft research vessels returned to Earth 26 space-mutated varieties of crops sourced from Inner Mongolia, including wheat, corn, potatoes, buckwheat, oats, tomatoes, and cucumbers ….
Sanya secures 230kg of Brazilian corn seeds for breeding research
The “Sanya Global Animal and Plant Germplasm Resources Introduction Transit Base” has successfully cleared a 230 kg consignment of Brazilian corn seeds, which will be used for scientific research, enriching breeding materials, and promoting selection of new varieties, are being safeguarded at ….
Anhui’s former Seed Management head under investigation
The former head of the Seed Management General Station of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Anhui Province is being investigated as a suspect for a “serious violation of discipline and law.” The disciplinary review is being carried out by ….
‘Massive’ counterfeit paddy seed case to be prosecuted
The Yinchuan City Public Security Bureau Food and Drug Environment Branch is pursuing prosecution for the suspected sale of counterfeit paddy seeds. According to an investigation appraisal, the value of the counterfeit seeds exceeds 1.4 million yuan ($195,700). The case dates back to 2017, when the suspect established ….
20 million yuan loan approved for seed breeding during ‘special period’
The Nenjiang City Sub-branch of Agricultural Development Bank has issued a loan of 20 million yuan ($2.8 million) to Heilongjiang Beidahuang Seed Industry Co., Ltd. The funds will be used for seed production, breeding and marketing activities during this “special period of epidemic prevention and control” ….
Rules on seed import taxes amended
The Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation has a issued a Notice on Tax Policies for Imported Seed Provenances. A number of amendments to the rules and regulations have been made “in order to further develop the effectiveness of the import tax policy and adapt to the requirements of the market economy” ….
Seeds to be distributed directly to farmers in Andra Pradesh villages
In order to discourage farmers from travelling to urban centers to buy seeds from private traders, officials in Andhra Pradesh plan to distribute seeds directly to farmers in villages from May 18 ….
Tamil Nadu model for self-sufficient vegetable supply
Despite a rough lockdown start throughout India in March and April, which has been characterized by crops rotting in fields and produce supply shortages at local markets, villages are now becoming more self-sufficient in their vegetable supply chain ….
Summer gales destroy banana crop, rains submerge paddy crops
Many hundreds of hectares of banana plantations and rice paddy have been damaged by strong winds and rain in Tamil Nadu in April and May ….
Tobacco farmers, industry in distress
The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) on behalf of millions of tobacco farmers and workers in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat has appealed to the government to ease on lockdown restrictions that have inhibited the auction and trade of tobacco ….
DAP fertilizer production sinks 38% in April
The production of Diammonium phosphate (DAP) in India experienced an 18-month low in April, citing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions since March. According to figures cited, DAP production in India in April reached about 260,000 tonnes ….
Maharashtra farmers hesitant about Kharif season sowing
Farmers in the State of Maharashtra are unsure what crops they should plant for the coming Khariff or summer/rainy season Cotton and corn farmers had suffered from unfavorable market prices for their produce, and many of them can’t access the usual market ….
State Govt mulls legal action against tomato virus rumour mongers
After invalidated reports about a new mysterious ‘deadly virus’ targeting tomato crops and consumers in Maharashtra was broadcast on local TV stations in Maharashtra, farmers were unable to sell their produce, which were left to rot in fields and markets ….
Punjab seed dealer raided, charged
A seed shop in the Punjab city of Ludhiana was raided by officials, who seized seed samples, bill books and other documents, while charging the dealer under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code ….
Nagaland crops devastated by bad weather
Heavy rainfall, thunder squalls and hailstorms in the first few weeks of May have reportedly destroyed crops on no less than 522.45 hectares in 11 districts, with most of the affected crops being maize, tomato, kholar, potato, watermelon, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, beans and yams ….
Marigolds as an alternative in Tamil Nadu
Plans are in place to mass cultivate marigold (Saamanthi Poo) in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu following a successful pilot planting of 10,000 flowers on one acre in the Kollidam block of Mayiladuthurai district. The crop provides an alternative or complementary crop for farmers …..
Plant clinics provide virtual diagnosis for farmers
Some 30 plant clinics — where farmers go to diagnose plant health and disease issues — in four Indian states have now been adapted to be virtual clinics online. Such clinics were started in 2012 by bringing plant health experts to villages on a biweekly basis to examine offer diagnostics services …. Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns, there have been seven virtual plant clinic sessions, drawing participation from some 350 farmers in the states of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam and Puducherry …..
Seeds of high-yielding, drought-tolerant maize varieties for East Nusa Tenggara
To reinforce food and livelihood security of cattle ranchers and corn farmers during the ongoing Covid-19 stranglehold on the economy, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Cereals Plant Research Institute is distributing 15 tonnes of drought-tolerant maize seed to farmers in East Nusa Tenggara ….
Pangdeglang receives 10 tonnes of maize seed
The Pandeglang District Agriculture Office, in the Banten Regency on the island of Java, is distributing superior hybrid corn seeds to farmers to accelerate corn planting. Assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture (called ‘Kementan’) amounts to 10.2 tonnes — sufficient for 680 hectares (ha) ….
Crops, planting data for Maros, South Sulawesi
Areas under cultivation in the Maros Regency of Indonesia’s South Sulawesi Province have reached 26,205 hectares, with predicted production of 295,800 tons. The April-September target is 20,000 ha, of which 65 percent has now been reached. Specifically, in May, approximately 7,000 ha of the 8,312 ha target was reached ….
BPTP Kepri chili cultivation innovation
BPTP Kepri (the Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology Indonesia) is providing technical guidance to chili farmers, including farm visits, with the aim of increasing production. Assistance in Tanjung Pinang, on the island of Bintan in the Riau Islands, began with the planting season last December and lasted through May. …
Women’s group develops organic chilis
Some 40 women in the hamlet of Takedan, on the island of Bali, are developing various organic fruits and vegetables on a 2-acre plot as a hedge against food shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their demonstration plot was initiated in 2019, thereafter receiving help from the central government for nurseries ….
Gardening in Klungkung as a hedge against Covid-19
Orders are flooding into nurseries in Klungkung on the island of Bali as people take to gardening as a hedge against food shortages during the pandemic. Popular items include chili seed. The Puspa Sari Women’s Farmers Group chairman in Tusan Village says there are quite a lot of orders for plant seeds from residents ….
Cultivating strawberry to keep Covid-19 at bay
To show what can be achieved even during a pandemic, government workers in the Humbang Hasundutan Regency (Humbahas) are planting strawberry which successfully bears fruit on a narrow strip of land around their headquarters using plastic bags and organic Bios 41 fertilizer.
Preserving cassava’s genetic wealth locally
In October 2019, BPTP Kepri (the Assessment Institute for AgriculturalTechnology Indonesia) and associated agencies began collecting genetic information on varieties of cassava local to Bintan and the Riau Islands. As a result, “several local superior varieties are being developed, including varieties of ….
South Sumatra and the Banyuasin Regency brace for food security
Banyuasin Regency in South Sumatra is one district capable of maintaining food security despite challenges arising from the Covid-19 plague. The regency contributes up to 33% of South Sumatra’s food supply, and is important nationally. As a result, plantings have been accelerated to meet anticipated needs ….
North Sumatra’s North Tapanuli Regency maize seed distribution
The government in North Tapanuli Regency (Taput), North Sumatra distributed 154,500 kilograms of corn seeds to 447 farmer groups in 11 districts for planting on 10,300 hectares as part of a national food security program. Agriculture officers are expected to innovate and ….
Installation of bamboo trellises and railings to combat Covid-19
The Task Force (Satgas) Food Security Covid-19 Lantamal VI is building bamboo rails and trellises to aid in propagating pumpkin, tomatoes, chili and string beans, among other vegetables, in Biringkanaya District, Makassar. Land is first hoed to clear weeds, then plowed using a tractor, and some thousands of cassava seedlings planted ….
Covid-19 food security through greenhouses and aquaponics
Efforts to maintain and improve food security by government during the pandemic in Timur District include using vacant land to grow produce and building fish ponds. Elsewhere, the Central Kalimantan Regional Police food security program included building a greenhouse at ….
Proposed Seed Bill amendment discussed in Diet but enactment postponed
On 20 May, Japan’s ruling party decided not to put the revised seed bill to a vote — either out of caution, owing to political opposition, or because of requests from civil groups for further deliberation. Seed groups have called for more public discussion before the Diet again considers it ….
Watermelon with micro-sized edible seeds
Following 16 years of breeding research and development, a new type of watermelon with a minimal number of micro-sized edible seeds has been launched by a Japanese company. According to publicity material, the watermelon now has been planted across Japan — with resulting national attention ….
Sakata Launching New Vegetables and Flowers
Starting in June, Sakata Seeds will launch eight new seed products, including several vegetables and flowers. Vegetables include varieties of stem broccoli and kohlrabi. More details in Japanese here. Sakata is also taking orders for two new “dwarf” button flowers, as announced on its ….
Nongwoo Bio CEO Q&A
The CEO of leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, Lee Byeonggak was featured in a Korean language interview. In the Q&A, he answers questions about his company, R&D, strategy, goals, as well as the situation with Korean and international seed business, including insights on Covid-19 and the North Korea situation ….
RDA lettuce breeding development
The Rural Development Administration (RDA) has revealed progress and approaches with R&D for domestic lettuce varieties. An article by Korean language Amnews highlights various types of varieties in focus, covering targeted trait categories and parameters, including shelf-life, leaf-weight, nutrient-content, color, flower and vegetative periods ….
Year-round barley microgreen sprout production
The Jeheon-si Agricultural Technology Center, in North Chungcheong Province, is reporting success with trials for barley microgreens. As reported in Korean language news, the microgreens were sprouted in new 396㎡ facility, which was designed for year-round production ….
Fruit tree seedling plant disease prevention, surveillance measures
Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has issued a management plan aiming to bolster prevention of inspection of epidemiological plant diseases at fruit tree seedling production sites ….
Cereal seeds production stable in Gyeongnam
Inspections of cereal seed production sites have been carried out by the Gyeongnam Provincial Agricultural Research Service Administration announced. The inspections, carried out on 13ha of wheat seed production fields, focus on plant and grain health, especially the prevalence of pests and diseases ….
New oat, barley varieties for feed crops
The Gyeongju-si Agricultural Technology Center will distribute seeds of new, locally developed, feed-purposed oat and and green barley. The varieties were bred by the Rural Development Administration and the National Institute of Food Science and Technology to promote ….
Sweet potato variety improvement trials in Jeonbuk
The Jeonbuk Provincial Agricultural Research Institute has teamed up with the Rural Development Administration in Jinan County of North Jeolla or Jeonbuk Province to improve varieties and produce high-quality seeds of domestically grown sweet potatoes. Focusing on taste and yields, trials had been carried out between March to early May, focusing on ….
RDA issues soya seed sowing season guidelines
The Rural Development Administration (RDA) has issued a number of guidelines to Korean cultivators of soybean in anticipation for the Korean soya seed sowing season, which is during the month of June. The guidelines cover everything from variety selection to ….
Online course for seedling, nursery workers
The Plant Breeding Research Institute of Wonkwang University recently successfully conducted an online lecture to provide practical curriculum on raising seedlings. The two-day virtual training session was organized in response to Covid19 isolation measures, and was attended by a total of ….
Genetic resources to bolster domestic wheat self-sufficiency
The Rural Development Administration (RDA) through the Agricultural Genetic Resource Center is continuing to evaluate wheat genetic resources to identify high potential breeding material that could be used to develop new domestic wheat varieties as part of efforts to improve self-sufficiency of staple grains. According to figures cited in the report, the self-sufficiency rate for wheat in Korea ….
Tissue culture mass sapling propagation of larch trees
The National Forest Breeding Management Center, in cooperation with the National Forest Science Institute will mass-produce larch saplings from tissue culture seedlet samples, which will be distributed through the national nursery office. Larch is a coniferous tree of the genus Larix, and is an important symbolic species of Korea that grows fast and thus preferred as ….
400,000 acres to be ‘harnessed’ for rice seed, other crops
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) has announced agriculture relief plans, specifically through the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) which includes the “harnessing” of 400,000 acres of farmland, which includes a joint venture with the Myanmar Rice Federation to produce seeds on half the land, with the other half to be used for ….
WUR assesses Myanmar seed sector challenges
Myanmar was among four developing countries whose seed sectors were assessed by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and collaborating partners as part of efforts to “identify priority steps for enhancing food systems’ resilience in low and middle income countries” and “to identify current challenges and urgent action in Myanmar’s seed sector ….
Heaps of horticulture harvested in Hawkes Bay
This year apple and pear harvest is reported to be ‘one of the largest ever’. Despite difficulties brought on by Covid-19, horticulturalists successfully harvested some 400,000 tonnes of fruit. Of this, about 273,000 tonnes are bound for international markets ….
Call for comment on GM potato lines deemed safe as food
Food Standards Australia New Zealand on May 22 called for public comment on an application to approve food from two genetically modified potato lines, which have been genetically modified to reduce browning, reduce acrylamide potential and disease resistance to foliar late blight. The application seeks to use the GM potatoes, which will be grown abroad, to process products such as ….
Robot dogs could relieve NZ agriculture woes
Labor shortages in the farm sector of New Zealand could prove to be a problem of the past. New Zealand robotics company, partnering with a US company, are looking at the prospect of using a dog-like robot in the agriculture sector, which promises to relieve the need for human labor in herding sheep and inspecting crops ….
Start planting garlic, strawberries now: Opinion
Gardening has become a popular pastime as a result of lockdown measures. An Op Ed urges gardeners to start planting garlic, and strawberries this month for the most optimal end-of-year harvesting prospects ….
IPM approach for tackling TPP
A look into how the New Zealand and Australia potato industry stakeholders apply Integrated Pest Management principles and technology to address and tackle issues for the past 14 years with the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) and the bacterium it vectors ….
First flood, now droughts as farmers struggle to source winter feed
A Waikato dairy farmer is seeking to advocate for the state-owned Pāmu (Landcorp) to use land for cultivating winter crops as an alternative feed source for animals struggling due to lingering nationwide drought. Prior to the drought, farmers had faced flooding, especially in Te Aroha, Edgecumbe, and Southland ….
Cotton seed price intervention
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on May 7 rejected a proposal from the Ministry of National Food and Security and Research to intervene with the price of seed cotton (phutti) at 4,224 rupees per 40 kgs ….
Committee calls for probe into poor seed, pesticide quality
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Standing Committee on Agriculture has called for the government to look into issues related to substandard quality of seeds and pesticides. Among the issues raised is very poor germination of cotton seeds and ineffective pesticides ….
Cotton sowing guidelines issued
The Farmers Advisory Committee (FAC) has issued a number of cotton sowing guidelines for farmers planning to sow seeds during the month of May. Among their suggestions include treating seeds to address pest threats, while only sowing registered seed varieties approved by the government, in addition to sowing quantity recommendations ….
PARC pushes mechanical sowing to boost rice productivity
The Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, during a visit to Gujranwala, has rice cultivators that mechanical sowing of the crop could increase productivity by up to 15% while saving on manual labour ….
Bad weather woes for Shangla crops
Heavy rains, snowfall, hailstorms, cold weather and landslides have caused hardship for people in the Shangla District of the Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province ….
Ag only sector to grow as economy retracts for first time in 68 years
For the first time in 68 years, Pakistan’s economy will have marginally contracted by, suggests data covering the most recent fiscal year, which ends June 30, reveals.. This negative forecast stems from “adverse impacts of the novel coronavirus coupled with economic stabilization policies that had hit the industrial sector much before the deadly pandemic.” However, the agriculture sector grew by 2.7% ….
BIOTEC rapid hybrid seed purity test praised for being quick and accurate
Dr. Wirulda Pootakham, researcher at the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) has been praised her work to develop an award-winning HybridSure DNA-based purity test. The rapid test can deliver accurate hybrid purity results within a day, compared to conventional ….
East-West Thailand donates seeds, growing extension as part of Covid-19 outreach
East-West Seed Thailand has signed two different Memorandum Of Understandings — in April and May — committing tens of thousands of seed packs and community uplifting as part of its latest community outreach efforts to improve the livelihoods of local farmers ….
Chia Tai gifts half-a-million seed packets for Covid-19 relief
Chia Tai has joined hands with the Community Development Department to distribute 500,000 vegetable seed packets to create food security and ease COVID-19 impacts. The seeds were donated as part of a 90-day action plan …..
Boy’s crop loss Facebook Live post draws seed aide from Interior Ministry
When a 12-year-old boy in the Muang district of Songkhla turned to social media to voice his complaints of cows eating his water convulous crops, he soon became the talk of town, prompting attention and visit from the Interior Ministry. It turned out the boy had been growing the vegetables to sell ….
HRH Princess Donates Veg Seeds to Locals
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has donated several dozen Royal Project vegetable seed kits to families living near the Mengrai Fort in Chiang Rai province of Northern Thailand ….
Quezon City distributes free veg seeds for ‘Joy of Urban Farming’ program
The Quezon city government in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture (DA) will distribute vegetable seeds to residents as part of a ‘Joy of Urban Farming program’ . The free seeds will be included in about 6,000 starter kits, which include a variety of vegetables such as eggplant, okra, tomato, pechay, mustard, ampaya and spinach, in addition to organic fertilizer, potting bags, and a starter manual ….
Veg, rice production bolstered in Maguindanao
The Governor of the province of Maguindanao is urging Local Government Units to encourage farmers to grow more vegetables. The news comes amidst “uncertainty as to whether normalcy will be restored due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Accordingly, vegetable seedlings have been prepared and distributed ….
Drought-afflicted corn farmers in Isabela to get duck reinforcement
Some 40 farmers in Iligan City, of Isabela province will be given ducks to raise as part of crisis mitigation efforts led by the Dept of Agriculture. The farmers’ crop had been greatly affected by a drought, and not to mention, ongoing COVID-19 restrictions ….
United Arab Emirates
Fall Armyworm confirmed in UAE
The all-conquering pest spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm) has been detected in crop fields in the areas of Al Ain, Al Dafra and Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates. The news was confirmed in a May 7 report from the International Plant Protection Commission (IPPC), citing a national survey that detected larvae in corn fields, with an initial infestation rate reported to be about 0.003% of all of UAE’s agricultural areas.
Amending Vietnam’s 10-year-old GM & Biosafety regulation
A proposal to amend Vietnam’s GMO regulations — Decree No. 69/2010 Decree No. 69/2010 / ND-CP of June 21, 2010, covering biosafety of genetically modified organisms, genetic specimens and products of genetically modified organisms — is in review, pending public commentary ….
VNR20 rice high yielding & profitable, affirms evaluation
The Tuyen Quang Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Office sponsored a conference to evaluate Vietnam National Seed Corporation (VINASEED) VNR20 rice variety. It was concluded that the promising variety — first planted by 144 households on 9.5 hectares in Tan Ha, Phường La and Tuyen Quang wards during January 2020 — is pest resistant and offers yield stability ….
‘World’s Best Rice’ backed by PVP, assures MARD
Voted the World’s Best Rice at the 11th World Rice Trade Conference last November in Manila, Vietnam’s long-grain Vietnamese jasmine fragrant rice, or ST24 variety received its plant variety protection certificate or PVP (No. 28. VN.2018) from the Department of Crop Production (MARD) in 2018 ….
Hanoi Pushing high-tech agricultural projects
Hanoi published a list of 11 direct investment projects for 2019 – 2025, including seven high-tech agricultural production projects with total investment of 5,200 billion dong (US$222,966). Examples of Vietnam’s recent agricultural breakthroughs include ….
Nha Ho new grapes, other crops show promise for SW Vietnam
The Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Nha Ho Cotton Research and Agricultural Development Institute since 2016 has introduced 22 new asparagus, 9 guava, 9 mango, 8 custard apple, 8 jackfruit, 7 longan; as well as several promising apple and grape varieties, which are suitably adapted to the local climate and soil in ….
Persistent drought in Central Vietnam
The Vietnamese government continues to implement measures to cope with drought, heat, and saltwater intrusion in the Central Region and Central Highlands. The Prime Minister’s Office issued Directive No. 04 / CT-TTg effective since January has mandated for provincial and metropolitan Peoples’ Committees “not to let people suffer from ….
Terrace melons in the heart of Hanoi
Nguyen Thi Thuong Huyen, 38, is now producing some 300 kg of melons annually in 70 pots on her 30 square-meter terrace in rainy Hanoi. Going into her fourth year since her first successful grow in 2017, she cultivates a number of varieties, including Korean, Thai, Pear, and Cabernet melons. Quality is evaluated using ….
SOFRI’s ‘Plant Hospital’ and Advisory Center
The Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI) long has been a core resource in development of Vietnam southern provinces’ fruit, vegetable and flower industries, credited with many varieties of fruit trees, bioproducts, processes and models for quality vegetable and fruit production. SOFRI guidelines also ensure food hygiene and safety in the Mekong Delta, Southeast and Western provinces ….
‘Superior quality’ hybrid rice for north-central coast
The LY2099 hybrid rice variety reportedly offers both superior productivity and quality, and is easy to cultivate. The three-line hybrid is planted widely in the North Central Coast province of Thanh Hoa under differing soil conditions, climatic sub-regions and levels of cultivation. The variety features high productivity and tastiness, and is less expensive than many other hybrids ….
Peanut Farmers’ abundant yields in Minh Hoa
Mountainous Minh Hoa District’s winter-spring peanut crop this year in the North Central Coast province of Quảng Bình has been good, and prices are high. The district agricultural office reports nearly 770 hectares planted to peanuts, with excellent growing conditions and fewer pests, affording a “much higher” ratio of ….
Breathing new life into stale coffee plantings
The Vietnam – Sustainable Agriculture Transformation (VnSAT) Project is revivifying aged coffee plantations in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Cultivators with 20-year-old plantings in 2015 found their coffee beans’ quality had worsened, with decreasing productivity and many sick or dying trees. VnSAT advised they should ….
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