BusinessSeed Quality, IP Protection and Innovation Challenge the Asian Pacific Seed Sector

Seed Quality, IP Protection and Innovation Challenge the Asian Pacific Seed Sector


By Sonja Begemann and Marcel Bruins

The seed industry is no stranger to challenges – pandemic or not. The Asian Pacific Seed Association (APSA) is primed and ready to address these challenges head-on.

“The major challenges, regardless of the pandemic, are high quality seed production, intellectual property protection and [increasing] innovation,” explains May Kanokwan Chodchoey, Executive Director of APSA.

Ultimately, seed companies across the region need the tools and framework to provide high-quality seed to farmers. This means greater genetic improvement, achieved through research and development. APSA looks to enable the seed industry to make improvements for farmer customers.

“Another challenge is still the international seed movement across countries and regions,” she adds. Phytosanitary concerns, pandemic or not, are ongoing.

Pandemic’s Impact

In the early stages of the pandemic, APSA deployed three detailed surveys to its members to determine the impact it was having on the seed industry.

“We saw at the time the pandemic hit last year that many countries asked for government support in terms of seed movement because this was the first factor, we saw had a huge impact,” Kanokwan Chodchoey says. “As we studied more, we learned that transportation was really difficult for companies to find.”

Freight costs increased drastically in the region, if transportation was available at all. However, APSA recently re-deployed the survey to find many of the challenges first experienced in the pandemic have been addressed.

“We still see room for improvement in international seed movement,” she says. In addition, company representatives told APSA they’re taking advantage of technology more in fields and in situations where it’s not safe for them to appear in person.

Listen here for more from Kanokwan Chodchoey as she describes the ongoing challenges for the Asian Pacific seed sector and additional issues brought on by the pandemic:


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