Speaking at the opening of the congress, ECOSA and TURKTOB Chairman Savas AKCAN said that, considering the common interests of ECOSA member countries, the most important goal is to develope the seed sector.
Stating that the world seed trade was $ 60 billion but Turkey's trade with other ECO countries was only $30 million, than added that ECO countries will need to increase their inter trade volume.
Stating that the cooperation between the ECO countries without any technical and political problems should continue in the seed sector as it should be in every field and that this will be a serious force against the problems that may be experienced with the countries outside the ECO geography, AKCAN said that close relations with each other in historical and socio-cultural context, adjacent to 8 million square kilometers living in a wide geography, covering a population of more than 500 million together, seed is the most important basis for ensuring full integration.
Underlining that ECOSA's main duty is to establish a common seed policy in ECO countries, AKCAN thanked ECOSA's founders and previous managers. Not only in the field of seed, young fruit plant, seedlings, ornamental plants, plant breeding, seed cultivation and seed distribution sector will be cooperated, for this purpose, ECOSA's new Board of Directors is formed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sub-Unions and TURKTOB he said.
AKCAN, thank the previous term ECOSA Chairman of the Board, Mete KÖMEAĞAÇ and gave a plaque.
Özkan KAYACAN, General Director of Agricultural Research and Policies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, stated that seed production is a very strategic sector and that countries that do not invest in seed sector cannot survive and that the flow of information will come to a much better point with the 10 member states of ECOSA coming together.
Stating that ECOSA member countries are willing to work more effectively with agricultural research institutions, KAYACAN said: ’‘ We should also use the synergy created by ECOSA for agricultural research and development (R & D). R & D studies in seed sector should be shifted to companies. The share of the private sector in R & D should increase. This issue is very important for the commercialization of the developed varieties. Seed companies of ECOSA member countries should also combine their R & D forces. The history of R & D studies of Turkey and other ECOSA members countries is just ten years, on average. Our budget is limited. The difference between us and the countries and companies that started this business a hundred years ago are huge, we have to close this gap very quickly. We must combine our power. I express that we will give our best to support all the studies on this subject.
Ayşegül YORULMAZLAR on behalf of the Economic Cooperation Organization and Fazıl DÜNÜNCELİ on behalf of FAO also made the opening speech.
ECO Regional Seed Trade Congress continued with Seed Quality Standards and Variety Registration panel moderated by Suat YILMAZ, Deputy General Manager of Plant Production, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
In the panel, Ali ERDEN, Director of Seed Registration and Certification Center of Turkey, Ben RIVOIRE on behalf of the International Association for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV), Pier Giacomo BIANCHI on behalf of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), and Dr. Andrew WAIS on behalf of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) made a presentation.
On the second day of the congress, in addition to bilateral trade meetings, meeting on the Current Situation and the Future of ECOSA was held with the participation of the representatives of the member states and country presentations were released.
30 November - 1 December 2019 / Antalya / TURKEY