Vietnam Seed Association: Rising above difficulties

Posted at: WEDnesday - 22/03/2017 15:29 - post name: Cộng tác viên

 
Prof. Acad. Tran Dinh Long – Chairman of Vietnam Seed Association (Photo: internet)

Prof. Acad. Tran Dinh Long – Chairman of Vietnam Seed Association (Photo: internet)

Vietnam Seed Association is a social and professional organization of people involved in agricultural, forestry plant varieties and others. Founded in 2001, the Association has so far had more than 800 members, 42 collective members including institutes, centers, universities and companies in the field of crops. There have had three Centers (Red River Crop Center, Crop and Agricultural Technology Center, Fruit and Vegetable Consulting and Development Center) and three Seed Associations at the provincial and regional level, namely Thanh Hoa Seed and Agricultural Material Association, Nghe An Seed Association, Southern Seed Association.

According to Prof. Acad Tran Dinh Long – Chairman of Vietnam Seed Association, in recent years, the association has united all organizations and individuals related to agro-forestry plant varieties in the field of research, teaching, management, business and production. For example, rice crop TH3-5 of Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Tram had high yield in Yen Bai; Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Thi Cu Hoa made concession of her rice crop OM 5451 and OM 6976 to Loc Troi Group and Vietnam National Seed Joint Stock Company; Engineer Ho Quang Cua had his aromatic Soc Trang rice crop been granted patents; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Hoan created papaya varieties resistant to yellow-spot virus. There have had numerous researches on breeding of Japonica specialty and high quality rice crops for consumption and export such as crops DH1, DH3 by Prof. Dr. Hoang Tuyet Minh et al., which are funded by themselves in collaboration with Center for Technology Transfer and Extension (VAAS). These crops have been recognized as national ones and protected and produced in tens of hectares in Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Ha Nam, Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Thai Nguyen, Ha Giang and some provinces in the South.

In addition, there are a number of other plant varieties such as vegetables, flowers, fruits, industrial plants and other plants, especially hybrid acacia, Acacia mangium, Acacia auriculiformis, high yield hybrid varieties in Eucalyptus urophylla, Eucalyptus pelita and some indigenous plants in Vietnam developed by Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences and other institutes in forestry, including studies on hybrid acacia by Prof. Dr. Le Dinh Kha and discovery of bamboo species by Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hoang Nghia.

In recent years, member associations have made great contributions to the country in general and to the Association in particular. Most typically, the Mekong River Delta Rice Institute has contributed 80% of the new crops to the Mekong River Delta. Many places in Africa prefer OM to IR; Southern Fruit Research Institute; Vietnam Maize Research Institute have provided over 50% of hybrid maize varieties in production; Moreover, there are also remarkable contributions from Rice breeding team of Engineer Ho Quang Cua in Soc Trang; Field Crops Research Institute; Rice breeding team of Vietnam National University of Agriculture.

Prof. Long added that the Association has paid special attention to consultancy, judgment and social expertise and achieved good results such as appraisal and judgment on the National Seed Project during the 2011-2015 period. In addition, the Association has made consultancy, judgment and social expertise on scientific research projects of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Health and institutes directly attached to Center for Technology Transfer and Extension (VAAS), Hanoi National University, Vietnam National University of Agriculture. In the 2012-2016 period, centers and member associations have implemented 15 schemes and pilot projects and achieved good results, namely "Breeding and development of high yield and good quality red dragon fruit for adaptation to Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces in the 2015-2015 period"; "Breeding and development of early maturing high yield and good quality litchi varieties for adaptation to Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces in the 2014-2015 period "; "Research on general management solution to ringworm virus for papaya production efficiency improvement in Hanoi"; "Application of science and technology for construction of a model of heat-tolerant tomato variety plantation in Thai Binh province".

The Association has also organized scientific conferences on Biodiversity Convention, preservation of the status quo of crop genetic resources with community participation, biosafety issues, good agricultural practice (VietGAP) and the use of genetically modified crops (GMC). It participated in the international cooperation project on crop genetic diversity in Vietnam and some European-Asian countries sponsored by the International Center for Crop Diversity in Rome, Italy and FAO.

In fact, the agricultural sector, especially plant varieties play a very important role in the economic structure of Vietnam. Although the State has invested hundreds of billions dong in scientific research, it only meets about 30% of the demand for high quality rice varieties, the rest has to be imported. This has shown that the rice breeding is still a difficult problem for agronomists and farmers in our country. As the chairman of Vietnam Seed Association, could you please tell us what kind of activities has the Association had to do to promote this work? Prof. Long said that: “In the current time up to 2020, the breeding of new high-quality rice varieties is an urgent requirement for the country's agricultural sector in general, the Vietnam Seed Association in particular. This is a great challenge for scientists as well as management in the agricultural sector. The current biggest difficulty is scattering of scientists. Mechanism of implementation, inspection and evaluation of products is still publically administrative, financial mechanism is too rigid, consuming much time of scientists on unnecessary procedures. At present, in my opinion, it is vital to unify leading scientists and highly qualified professionals in rice breeding for implementation. It is also necessary to have state-level key projects on breeding and production of new high-quality rice varieties, suitable for the Mekong River Delta and the Red River Delta with the yield of 6-7 tons/ha, the export value of USD750-850/ton. To this end, the State needs to prioritize investment in facilities, modern equipment, optimum working conditions and specific financial mechanisms for these projects if key products are produced".

Thanks to great efforts, many members have been highly appreciated by the State. For example, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Tram was conferred the title of Labor Hero and People’s Teacher; Engineer Ho Quang Cua was conferred the title of Labor Hero in the renovation period; the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations honored Prof. Nguyen Ngoc Kinh and Prof. Tran Dinh Long among 53 scientists of the country; Prof. Acad. Tran Dinh Long was honored by the Prime Minister as one of 22 scientists of the country on the occasion of the first science and technology day of Vietnam; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thi Cu Hoa was awarded the State Prize in Science and Technology of 2016.

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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Tram was very excited because the rice crop TH3-5 is well developed and cultivated by farmers.)

Author: HT
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