19 • ASIAN SEED IDTERM REPORT est breeding techniques. The international seed industry’s aim is not only to educate stakeholders about these techniques, but to influence regulators regarding how these tech- niques differ. “Plant varieties devel- oped through the latest breeding methods,” she averred, “should not be differentially regulated if they are similar or indis- tinguishable from varieties that could be produced through established breeding methods.” “Building on mecha- nisms created by nature,” she explained, “the lat- est innovations in plant breeding methods sim- ply achieve the relevant breeding results in less time and with greater pre- cision.” Mrs. Gallant highlight- ed current campaigns by the European Seed Asso- ciation and the American Seed Trade Association, and noted that resources – including videos, pam- phlets and info-graphics – can be adapted for APSA audiences. Dr. Arvind Kapur (Acsen Hyveg Pvt Ltd) – chairman of SC IPR and Biodiversity – suggested that special consideration be taken in Asia with re- gard to understanding of, and access to, the latest technologies, as well as in terms of a sometimes weak regulatory-enforce- ment environment. “It is essential that we educate stakeholders, not only on how to han- dle these technologies properly with respect to research and commercial purposes, but also to ed- ucate them on how these technologies can help in terms of food production, as well as promoting bio- diversity and protecting the environment,” he said. Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc of East-West Seeds agreed that education was key, and suggest- ed efforts should be considered on a coun- try-by-country basis, working through Nation- al Seed Associations, which serve as the initial point of contact with legislators. “APSA doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel but can adopt existing mate- rials and resources to be relevant to specifically-de- fined target audiences,” she said, noting that the Philippine Seed Industry Association actively en- gages regulatory bodies to promote new breeding techniques. “PBI is an important topic for us in the Phil- ippines, and this will be the central theme of the Pre-Congress Workshop at the upcoming Asian Seed Congress in Manila on November 12,” Dr. Sayoc said. Wang Zhiping of Ce- lestial Seeds said the Chinese government has also prioritized promotion of technological innova- tion with respect to agri- culture and breeding: “Plant Breeding Inno- vation was a key topic of discussion at our recent China National Seed Conference, and the gov- ernment is increasingly engaging stakeholders in China and abroad. We are seeing more and more interest with respect to advancements in plant breeding – and this inter- est is not just limited to the agriculture sector,” he explained. Mr Wang added that “China is still a developing country, and, [though] IPR /PVP rules and regula- tions have been improv- ing, implementation still needs more effort.” Subsequent com- ments from Japanese, Korean and Indian dele- gates echoed the notion that special consider- ation be taken in defining audiences and objec- tives for each country, and that NSAs be ac- tively engaged, comple- mented by a multi-chan- nel approach through APSA’s broad network. PROTECTING PROFITS Over the course of two days, APSA delegates ac- tively deliberated various agenda points (see box on page 22). APSA’s maiden midterm meeting was attended by a few dozen member delegates, as well as several international observers. The delegation represented China, India, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, Netherlands and France.