The countdown is on for the international seed congress, the most significant event on the Asia and Pacific industry calendar, and coming to New Zealand for the first time in its 28-year history.
Up to 1500 international seed trade professionals are expected for the 28th Asian Seed Congress co-organised by the Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance and the NZ Grain and Seed Trade Association (NZGSTA).
The event will be held at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre from November 20 to 24, and will be the biggest event the centre has hosted to date.
NZGSTA general manager Thomas Chin said the congress will be a huge opportunity to showcase the NZ seed industry.
“The industry is looking forward to co-hosting and demonstrating to global customers NZ’s high-quality seed and production systems,” Chin said.
“The congress and its associated events are conveniently located within Canterbury, the seed hub of the country.”
Since its inauguration in 1994 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the annual event has been hosted in numerous key cities in the region, including New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Brisbane, Shanghai, Bali, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Chiba, Seoul, Kobe, Macau, Kaohsiung, Manila, Pattaya and Bangkok.
The exclusive event attracts key executives, officials, legislators, and scientists, who all have a stake in the development, production, distribution, regulation and trade of quality seeds.
“With registrations already more than 1000, and not closed yet, we are delighted with the international support,” Chin said.
The congress will feature technical sessions, field tours and networking and trading floors.
“From India to China, Turkey to Australia, Kyrgyzstan to Sri Lanka, Philippines to Pakistan, Thailand to Japan – the people that matter the most in the movement of quality seed across international borders continue to make the Asian Seed Congress a fundamental itinerary on their calendars.”
Chin said NZ is a world leader in seed production with the industry supplying 60% of the world’s radish seed, 50% of white clover seed and 40% of its carrot seed, as well as some 40 other different cropping seed species.
NZ seed exports to the Asia Pacific region are worth $100 million a year.
A big contingent is expected from China, the host nation for the event in 2024.
“China is an important market for NZ and we are hopeful of making progress to reinstate our brassica seed market that we were excluded from about 12 years when we had a biosecurity issue with black leg on the seed.
“NZ has now established protocol to mitigate this and recently re-engaged in discussions that we are hopeful of some progress at the congress towards reinstating the market.”
Trading will be a key focus of the congress, with close to 200 tables on the exhibition floor where delegates will have the opportunity to negotiate business and connect with key contacts.
Technical workshops and forums will cover the latest industry development and technology. Tours across Canterbury will cover the seed production chain from breeding through to growers and seed processing.
“We will ensure these delegates will get a show that will do our seed industry very proud on the international stage,” Chin said.