The Seed Trade Capacity Building program, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, develops the seed sector building institutional capacity for research, innovation, and new seed technologies; promoting and enabling policy environments for seed trade; and facilitating cooperation and partnerships with the private sector in the Mekong Region. These activities include workshops on plant variety protection, intellectual property rights, and crop production laws throughout the MUSP nations. The program also works to advance capacity building for seed health testing in labs with MUSP participants.
Seed Trade Capacity Building engages and help build relationships and a common vision among MUSP government officials involved in the production, inspection, importation, distribution, and marketing of planting seeds in MUSP countries. Major stakeholders in both the U.S. and the MUSP countries participate along with key world leaders and research institutions.
Workshops are conducted in order to support existing and potential cooperators in the region. These workshops help MUSP countries engage with international institutions to strengthen the rules-based trading systems in order to create a level ground for a transparent competition and harmonize the seed sector processes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in partnership with American Seed Trade and Asia and Pacific Seed Associations, held the Lower Mekong Regional Seed Workshop, June 8-10, 2021. The “Strengthening Sustainable Seed System for the Lower Mekong Countries” workshop was conducted by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) with technical expertise from USDA Agriculture Marketing Service. Over 70 high-ranking country representatives from the Public Seed Offices of, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia along with senior representatives from international seed organizations including OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), ISTA (International Seed Testing Association), and UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) participated. Key representatives provided updates on progress and challenges in seed trade in their countries focusing on capacities, and rules-and science-based policy environments with aim to foster cooperation and harmonization of seed policies among Lower Mekong Countries (LMCs), consistent with practices and approaches in the United States.
Mekong-U.S. Partnership Virtual Workshop will be organized by ‘The Asia and Pacific Seed Association’ on 8- 10 June 2021 as a virtual workshop. The theme would be "Strengthening Sustainable Seed System for the Lower Mekong Countries”. This Activity is a component of the Seed Trade Capacity Building Project in the Lower Mekong Region funded under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership (MUSP), formerly known as Lower Mekong Initiative. Following the successful first Mekong Regional workshop on seeds on 2018, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service is inviting Country Representative from the Seed Offices of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to attend the Lower Mekong Seed Regional Workshop.
During this time Seed Trade Capacity Building in the Lower Mekong Progress Report will be presented by Government official delegations’ representative on each topic (Plant variety protection, seed lab accreditation, seed certification and phyto-sanitary regulation). Discussion groups will be organized to review on the priority and the type of capacity building training is needed in the region and in its respective country.<