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PH hybrid rice impress Asia-Pacific seed producers

A FIELD study tour organized by over 50 member countries of the Asia-Pacific Seeds Association (APSA) left the Philippines on Sept. 23, 2023 very impressed with the country’s milestones and achievements in hybrid rice seeds production as well as the close collaboration among the sector’s stakeholders.

Frisco Malabanan, current APSA executive committee member who is with the government’s Masagana Rice Industry Development Program, initiated the first field study tour in the Philippines. He was a former chairman of the Special Interest Group on Field Crops.

Headquartered in Bangkok, APSA is the largest regional seed association in the world with more than 600 members, according to its website.

It promotes sustainable agriculture through the development, production and trade of quality seeds within, to and from the Asia-Pacific region and continues to maintain strong links with several key international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, CGIAR institutions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Trade Organization.

Heidi Gallant, executive director of APSA, provided more insights into what the association means to its members who represent the entire spectrum of the seed industry — both the public and private sectors — including national seed associations, government agencies, public and private seed companies, and associate members, which represent organizations outside of the Asia region.

Majority of its members are seed enterprises, including breeders, producers, distributors, retailers, exporters and importers. Countries with the highest number of members are China (20 percent), India (19 percent), Pakistan (7 percent), Bangladesh (7 percent), Japan (7 percent), Thailand (4 percent), South Korea (4 percent) and Chinese Taipei (4 percent).

Of the 15 delegates who joined the just-concluded field study tour, three companies were from China and others were from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Malabanan said the APSA study tour coincided with the holding of the 16th National Rice Technology Forum (NRTF) of the private sector group, Rice Board, in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur. It showcased clustered demo farms of hybrid rice companies, soil nutrition and digital companies involved in the rice sector.

The delegates were impressed by how the Philippines could pool all seed production companies in one site during the NRTF tour in Davao Sur, which Malabanan said was a result of the close collaboration between government and private companies. PNA QR Code

Published Date: September 27, 2023

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