PSA MATTERS ASIAN SEED − 34 r. Kanokwan Chodcho- ey (May) will step up as APSA’s Acting Di- rector from July 1. May, who joined APSA early this year as Deputy Director, will now lead the Secretariat follow- ing the departure of Mrs. Heidi Gallant. Asian Seed sat down with Dr. Kanokwan to get to know her better. Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am from Cha-choeng-sao, a small provincial town just to the east of Bangkok. I have one sibling and four cousins, who are close to me. They are all strong ladies! We grew up immersed in the sweet aroma of coffee as my mother had a small old-fashioned cof- fee shop in town, where my extended family spent a lot of quality time together. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, I applied and was accepted to the PhD program in Biotech- nology at Mahidol University, graduating in 2011. After that I started my career with Mon- santo Thailand. I worked in Phitsanulok in the beginning of my career as a lab supervisor and here I was well groomed and equipped with practical agricultural knowledge, quality management systems, plant operations and quality test- ing processes for veg and corn seeds. During my six years with Monsanto, I got to explore many roles related to APSA Gets New Acting Director D quality control. These included Quality Manager for Thailand and Vietnam; QC Manager for Asia Pacific and China; and QC Lead for Asia & Africa. My last role was Quality Lead for Asia Pacific. Aside from get- ting the opportunity to meet my husband, I gained a great deal from this experience, which helped me learn about myself and the direction I want to move in, which is using my skills and knowledge to benefit others through a non-profit organization like APSA. What do you hope to gain from APSA, what will you bring to the association? In my previous job, aside from working in labs and interacting with scientists, another aspect I enjoyed was the opportu- nity to interact with farmers and customers who directly deal and trade in seed. I really like meeting new people and interacting with them, espe- cially if my work can benefit their livelihood. I believe APSA will allow me to do this more regularly, and in the context of a non-profit organization, the work has a lot of potential to make a difference in society. I look forward to applying my knowledge and experience to- wards the association’s novel missions, so as to support and develop seed organizations, with the hope that the resulting benefits will trickle back down to the farmers. Speaking of farmers, what is your general view on seeds, crops and breeding? Seeds, vegetables and crops represent the fundamental basis of our life, extending to food for humans and feed for animals. Having good breed- ing processes is necessary for sustainable food security, and for good health likewise. More- over, breeding is the key for society to overcome and mit- igate changes in the environ- ment and other stress factors, whether biotic or abiotic. Aside from applying my education and interest for the benefit of others in the association, I look forward to continuing to learn more from others, as the learning process is reciprocal and never-ending. Aside from seeds, do you have any other passions or ambitions for the future? I love exercising, especially running, dancing and attend- ing Zumba classes, which help me to relieve stress, both physical and mental. I love doing anything that I can to help others to be better, whether through my work, charity, making merit at the temple, teaching Thai classical music (I play a stringed mal- let instrument called a Khim or Thai Dulcimer). I also like YouTubing and baking bread free of additives in my spare time. In the long term, I’d like to go back home or stay in the countryside in the North-East- ern region of Thailand and spend more time with my fam- ily, surrounded by rice fields and herb gardens, where I can organize small workshops for others to exchange and share useful knowledge. Dr. Kanokwan’s email is Registration for the 25th Asian Seed Congress has opened. Our venue this year – the Manila Marri- ott Hotel – can accommodate up to 2,000 delegates, and judging from the full house last year in Bangkok, there’s a high probability that we will reach capacity well be- fore the doors open in November. So don’t hesitate to secure your booking ASAP. Please be advised that this year there will not be on-site registration, nor will registration be open to non-mem- bers. This is to ensure APSA can provide optimal service to its members. Inaugurated in 1994 in Chiang Mai, the Asian Seed Con- gress is the most important seed trade event in the most populous and lucrative region in the world. 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