Naktuinbouw and NCSS signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
The Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture (Naktuinbouw) and the Center for Seeds and Seedlings, NARO (NCSS) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 23, 2017 for joint work on DUS (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability) test for Plant Variety Protection (PVP) System. The MOU was signed by Mr. Bert Scholte, Head of Variety Testing Department of Naktuinbouw and Mr. Takeshi Ueki, Director-General, Mr. Hideki Maeda, Head of DUS Test Section of NCSS. The signing of the MOU signified the start of enhancing international cooperation to promote partnership and ensure PVP system which protects plant breeders' rights that will eventually promote the breeding of new varieties. The Naktuinbouw and NCSS are both engaged in conducting DUS tests for examination in PVP to protect new varieties as plants breeder's rights. The agreement for collaboration was aimed at jointly developing calibration manuals for DUS test for new varieties based on the Naktuinbouw calibration book and the NCSS manual for DUS test. Over the next 5 years, both Naktuinbouw and NCSS have agreed to complete 10 harmonized manuals including rose, carnation, lettuce, watermelon etc. The joint manual will be particularly useful not only for examination of new varieties in Japan and the Netherlands but could also be used in other countries. Japan supports establishing PVP system in East Asian countries in line with the UPOV system, the joint manual which include many photographs explaining how to observe and measure characteristics of varieties will be easy-to-understand reference material for users from these countries.
JICA Training Course 2015
The JICA training course on "Quality Control System of Seeds and Seedlings to Facilitate Distribution of High Quality Seeds" was conducted by JICA Tsukuba Center and NCSS from June 15, 2015. The training course included plant variety protection, seed testing and seed propagation related to the tasks of NCSS and the participants can study them comprehensively. The participant countries are eleven countries, mainly from Asia region. This year ten participants from nine countries, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, are participating in the training course. And they studied various techniques and knowledges in NCSS related to "Quality Control System of Seeds and Seedlings", in the headquaters, Nishinihon, Hokkaido-chuo and Unzen station of NCSS. Especially this year, the participants participated in UPOV TWA/44, which was held in Obihiro from July 6th, and studied the situation regarding international system on plant variety protection. Furthermore, the participants learned the efforts in production areas on production of rice seeds and production system of seed potatoes in Hokkaido.They have finished main lectures and practical works of the training until the middle of August. They will take one week training to study actual works of seed company as a new endeavor. And finally they have to make an action plan, which is an own activity to conduct in own country through the result of the training. This training course is been holding the closing ceremony on September 11.
ISTA Executive Committee Meeting in Tsukuba
ISTA Executive Committee (EC) meeting is holding at Tsukuba Office, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council Secretariat of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan (MAFF) , from February 9 to 13. Ten EC members, including Mr. Joe"l Le'chappe' (France), President of ISTA and three staff of ISTA secretary, including Mr. Benjamin Kaufman, Secretary General of ISTA, are participating in the meeting. And they are discussing management and budget issues of ISTA and topics proposed from members. NCSS is accreditated seed testing laboratory by ISTA. NCSS can issue the ISTA certificates upon requests from seed companies. And Mr. Sato, Director of Seed health laboratory of NCSS, is being assigned to be an EC member, contributing to propose the situation or problem from Asia region.
During the EC meeting, they had some opportunities to enjoy Japanese culture as well, such as tea ceremony,"setsuburn bean-throwing ceremony" in Tsukuba mountain shrine and "Makabe no Hinamatsuri", which is a festival to show and enjoy the traditional Japanese culture and feel of old Japan in Makabe town, because most of the participants are the first time to visit Japan.