Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing seeds market globally, signaling a surge in agricultural innovation across the region. To bolster research and collaboration in this domain, 46 mid- and senior-level executives from Bangladesh, India, the United States and Germany received the latest in training at the Seed Industry Program hosted by the Cornell-Sathguru Executive Education Program.
Conducted from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 in Hyderabad, India, the program marked the 17th annual seed industry training from Cornell and Sathguru, a global management consulting firm headquartered in Hyderabad with offices in Bangladesh, Malawi, and the U.S. This year's initiative received partial support from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement at Cornell.
Over the course of the four-day program, executives from the seed industry immersed themselves in a series of intensive sessions encompassing lectures, panel discussions, and case studies. These sessions were crafted to deepen participants’ understanding of diverse aspects of the seed industry, covering topics such as markets, traits, technology, regulations, and strategy, according to K.V. Raman, adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics.
“I am very happy and enriched to have participated in the seed industry program, which offered deep training into global seed systems, plant breeding, plant breeder rights, plant genetics resources, gene edited plants, and many other areas,” said Md. Bazlur Rahman, senior scientific officer with the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). “I found the educational training on biotech crops to be especially useful as the global seed industry considers high value crops of the future.”
Leading the training were faculty members from Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, including Richard Cahoon, adjunct professor of global development; Ronnie Coffman, international professor emeritus of plant breeding and genetics; Michael Gore, the Liberty Hyde Bailey professor and Section Head of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the School of Integrative Plant Science; Alan Taylor, professor of horticulture; and K.V. Raman, adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics. Sathguru's instructional team featured Vijay Vijayaraghavan, R. Hanhincal, and Kannan Ragunathan.
During his presentation on advances in phenomics and genomics for plant breeding, Gore outlined the main goals of the ILCI and its efforts to enhance crop improvement in low-resourced countries around the world.
“This comprehensive program offers a panoramic view of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the seed sector and unlocks potentials for partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and build a more stable world,” said Stephen Kresovich, director of ILCI, professor in Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science and the Robert and Lois Coker Trustees Chair of Genetics in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Clemson University.
Coffman, who led the workshop “Plant Breeding: The Next Opportunity for Innovation,” said that the annual training has contributed to the growth of the Asia Pacific seed industry.
“Through this training, business executives gain valuable exposure to the various forces shaping the dynamics of the seed industry and catalyzes future collaborations and engagement in South Asia and across the world,” Coffman said.