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‘Doomsday Vault’ Receives 50,000 Seeds to Ensure Future Food Security and Crop Diversity

‘Doomsday Vault’ Receives 50,000 Seeds to Ensure Future Food Security and Crop Diversity


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If you’ve been preparing for any doomsday scenarios, from natural disasters to nuclear war, you’re not the only one. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, also dubbed the “Doomsday Vault,” has been gathering seeds to ensure food security for human survival after any post-apocalyptic events. This week, the vault has received 50,000 seeds of potatoes, lentils, wheat, and barley, among other crops, to add to its food bank.

The seeds come from all over the world, including countries such as Benin, India, Pakistan, Morocco, the Netherlands, Belarus, the U.K., the United States, Mexico, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to Crop Trust, the organization behind the Doomsday Vault.

“Today’s seed deposit at Svalbard supported by The Crop Trust shows that despite political and economic differences in other arenas, collective efforts to conserve crop diversity and produce a global food supply for tomorrow continue to be strong,” Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust, said in a statement released on Feb. 22.

“Crop diversity is a fundamental foundation for the end of hunger,” Haga added.

As for the location of the vault, it’s no coincidence that it’s stationed in what seems like a frozen wasteland. According to Crop Trust, the permafrost and thick rock allow the seed samples to remain frozen even without electric power. The seeds, which are optimally kept at -18 degrees Celsius, are sealed in foil packages that are then put inside boxes stored on shelves in the walls of the vault.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.


Korea Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Korean seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.

Poppies from &lsquofloating seeds&rsquo seized: May 27: The Boryeong Coast Guard recently sized poppy plants from 20 rural villages in Boryeong (South Chungcheong Province) where locals were allegedly cultivating them for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It was reported that the seeds may have brought in by winds. According to local regulations, charges were not pressed in cases in which cultivation did not exceed 50 weeks nonetheless, the coast guard said that a total of 410 poppy stems would be seized and confiscated. Original news here .

New ag center with seed library opened in south Seoul: May 26: The 'Ganggamchan Urban Agricultural Center', an urban agricultural complex, which includes greenhouse complex spanning ​​905 square meters. Located in the Bongcheon-dongdivision, the new two-story complex was constructed between May of last year and January this year with a budget of 2.5 billion won ($2.24 million). Its features include a handicap-accessible garden, seed library, an exhibition greenhouse, experience and education rooms, plant growing machine, vertical garden and exhibition halls. The Seed Library exhibits some 250 types of seeds, including food, horticulture, and medicinal crops, inspired on the historical farming book from Geumcheon country called 'Geumyang Japrok'. A loan-exchange system is planned. Full details in Korean here .

KORES sends &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo to N Korean defectors: May 25: A delegation from the Korea Mineral Resources Corporation (KORES), led by its President, Hwang Gyu-yeon, delivered a &lsquopackage of hope&rsquo to North Korean defectors living in the southern Gangwon region. Distributed to 30 vulnerable households through the Gangwon Southern Hana Center, the &lsquoHope Seed Package&rsquo consted 240 kg of miscellaneous grains and seeds worth 3 million won ($2,700) and 60 blankets. News in Korean here .

Kenaf planting community: May 18: Community groups of the Myodo-dong division of Yeocheon city recently got together to sow kenaf seeds on 600 square meter plot of land as part of a climate action activity. Kenaf, which is adapted to the local environment, can grow rapidly, year round, and is said to be a strong carbon sequestration plant that can help reduce air pollution. See original story here .

White glutinous rice barley project: May 18: Gunsan City Agricultural Technology Center announced plans to secure 300 tons of seeds for high quality white glutinous rice barley as part of a special seed production pilot project being carried out at its Chaejongpo complex. These high-quality seeds are planned to be sown on 2,000 ha. See full details in Korean and here .

Nongwoo presents annual scholarships: May 17: Leading Korean seed company, Nongwoo Bio, led by CEO Dong-seop Park, held a scholarship conferment ceremony at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Science. For the purpose of fostering future agricultural talents, Nongwoo Bio has contributed 10 million won (US$9,000) every year since 2017 towards scholarship fund at Seoul National University, with two new graduate students selected as recipients every year. See Korean news here

Free sesame seeds hoped to spark cultivation interest : May 11 With the aim of stimulating interest amongst farmers and ordinary residents to grow sesame, Paju City announced a campaign to distribute 20 kg of high-quality seeds produced last year at the Pyeonghwa Farm, which was built around 6, Geogok-ri village of Jangdan-myeon township. Farmers are allocated 12kg of these &ldquoAnsan&rdquo sesame seeds while the general public will be allocated 8kg (50 grams per person), all free of charge. The city is hoping to spark interest in growing traditional Korean medicinal crops. See original story in Korean here .

Gyeonggi &lsquonative seeds&rsquo collection and conservation : May 9: Efforts are underway in Gyeonggi Province to collect and preserve native seeds for the purpose of cultivating and marketing native crops. A private company has been selected to work with the National Seed Library Council to collect the seeds in four cities this year: Goyang, Ansan, Osan, and Icheon. The effort is part of a larger objective to identify and collect at least 100 native seeds per region for keeping at the Gyeonggi Indigenous Seed Bank, and in response to an &ldquoextinction crisis&rdquo blamed on &ldquothe aging and urbanization of rural farms in the province&rdquo. Since 2012, the province has collected 3,000 indigenous seeds through seed management centers and private organizations. Excluding the amount stored by private organizations, about 1,600 are currently being stored and multiplied by indigenous seed banks. See original story in Korean .

Korean NPPO to use ePhytos for trade with US, Sri Lanka and other countries: 14 April: A workshop concerning the development of the IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) ePhyto Solution in the Republic of Korea was recently held. The workshop, organized by Representatives of the Korea&rsquos National Plant Protection OrganizationKorea&rsquos Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) -- along with the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and the IPPC Secretariat. APQA announced that, starting in May it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities with the US, and will gradually in the coming months extend implementation with a number of countries, with Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries, including Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Read more details on the IPPC website here.

FACT to increase summer crop seed production: April 13: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has announced plans to increase seed production for summer crops distributed in 2021 by 39% compared to the previous year. Specifically, there are 72 varieties in 11 target crops, including rice, beans, red beans, mung beans, perilla seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, sorghum, millet, and corn for feed, with a target output of 2,146 tons. See more details in Korean here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, Announcement of Recruitment of Participating Companies - March 29

April 16 : The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) is recruiting seed companies to participate in KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, which will be held at K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center near Gimje City from October 6 to November 2. Due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, the Expo will be held in an online format, allowing international companies to meet with reps from Korean seed companies through interactive virtual exhibition booths. More details in Korean here, and in English via the event webpage here.

Chungbuk illegal seed survey: March 25: The National Seed Resources Chungbuk Branch has conducted a seed distribution survey for the first half of the year concerning 11 cities and counties in the Chungbuk region. With an aim of curbing the distribution of illegal seeds, seedlings, and fruit tree seedlings for the spring farming season, the seed distribution survey tracks the distribution status and channel of producers and sellers of seed potatoes, fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds, in addition to seed companies, nursery companies, and other entities that sell seeds and seedlings. The survey specifically looks at whether the target entities are registered, whether varieties are reported for production, import and sale, and whether the quality of seeds or seedlings is labeled. Illegal producers and sellers will be subject to fines, prosecution and other appropriate penalties. See Korean news here.

(FACT) KOREA SEED EXPO 2021, announcement of recruitment of exhibition varieties - March 15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) has made a call-out for the recruitment (accession) of excellent varieties to grow and display at the KOREA SEED EXPO 2021 , which will be held at the K-Seed Valley and Seed Industry Promotion Center, near Gimje city, from October 6 to Nov 2. The EXPO will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19, and the Demonstration Field will be available through Panorama VR. More details in Korean here.

Botanical wild seeds preservation at seed vault: Feb 24: Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center is actively trying to secure superior seeds by supporting seed germination rate tests for farmers in Seocheon County ahead of the farming season in order to increase yields and crop quality. The Seocheon County Agricultural Technology Center provides free germination rate tests for farmers in the county, with results returned within 7 days. Read original story in Korean here

Tax exemption proposed for seeds used in animal feed production: Feb 24: A proposal to exempt the VAT on the seeds for the production of animal fodder, which has been subject to taxation, is being proposed. The revised bill aims to reduce the financial burden on farmers producing feed and prevent unnecessary administrative waste by applying tax exemption to imported seeds for animal feed production. Currently, seeds of plants that are used for both food and animal feed such as rye, oats, and corn are exempt from VAT. However, seeds used only for feed, such as Italian ryegrass, are subject to tax. Although farmers are able to claim a refund on the VAT of taxed seeds, this creates an unnecessary financial burden for farmers and administrative waste for tax authorities. Read original story in Korean here

Korean listed seed companies strong performance: Feb 23: The value of two APSA Korean members who are publicly listed in Korea have seen strong stock market demand. According to a February 23 report, Nongwoo Bio&rsquos stock value rose by 6.18% and Asia Seed grew by 4.48%. See original Korean report here.

Forest seed inspections coming: February 22: The Korea Forest Service National Forest Variety Management Center this coming spring seedling planting season, will conduct inspections at major domestic seedling markets. The aim of the inspections are to ensure compliance with requirements for production, import and distribution of forest seeds pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Seed Industry Act. Inspections will also look into mushroom spawns (including spawn inoculation medium) and online distributors. According to Korean media, the National Forest Variety Management Center has conducted a total of 39 seed distribution investigations/investigations in 20 years and has recorded 18 cases of non-compliance, which resulted in eight warnings, two fines and eight judicial rulings. More details of inspections here, as well as here.

Dong-Oh links up with Nunhems: Feb 21: Dong Oh Seed is linking up multinational agri-chemical company, BASF&rsquos vegetable seed arm, Nunhems to launch new products in the Korean market. The companies recently signed an agreement to jointly develop global seeds for various crops. In the mean time, Dong Oh will exclusively supply popular watermelon varieties of Nunhems. More details in Korean here.

FACT&rsquos seed treatment center: Feb15: The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer (FACT) seed treatment in Andong, Gyeongbuk has opened the way for seed producers to grow and sell quality seeds in a stable manner. The facility includes quality testing, screening and chemical treatment functions, as well as sorting by size, weight and color. Previously, the process to distribute new varieties to farmers might have taken five years has made it possible to cut this down to two years. More details in Korean here.

Godangok No. 1 Offers Potential for Domestic Corn : Feb 22: Goesan County signed a commercial license agreement with the Rural Development Administration for the protection of the state-owned variety of Godangok No. 1. Developed jointly by the Rural Development Administration and Goesan County, Godangok No. 1 is planned to be released commercially in 2022 after a two year trial that started in 2020. Godangok No. 1 has an appealing taste and high sugar content, and is able to compete with imported corn varieties with a competitive seed price. Original story in Korean here

Nearly one-third of cultivars found to be the same variety under a different name: February 19: DNA testing found 27% of 625 varieties, including 125 out of 399 pepper varieties tested, were actually the same cultivar. As a result 42 companies voluntarily withdrew 363 varieties. The protection of intellectual property and cracking down of infringement and illegal distributors has become an increasingly urgent issue in the seed industry. With millions of dollars spent on R&D, the current low penalties are not enough of a deterrent, according to a seed company official. Original story in Koren here and here.

Nurturing specialists in the seed industry: Feb 17: The National Seed Resources plans to expand the number of its courses for professionals in the seed industry. The courses will target seed industry workers and public officials as well as high school and university students with courses related to breeding technology, seeding technology, seed marketing, and seed quality testing. They will also hold training courses aimed at developing countries in Asia in order to cultivate future human resources for the next generation of professionals in the seed industry. The curriculum for 2021 will be announced on the National Seed Resources website (https://www.seed.go.kr). Original story in Korean here

Private companies to support native soybean research and conservation: Feb 17: Professor Gyuhwa Chung of Chonnam National University stated in a recent interview that a number of domestic and regional soybean companies have offered to support his research and conservation efforts. With a collection of 7,000 wild and native soybean seeds from remote islands and mountain regions, one of the most vital facilities for Prof. Chung's research is the soybean seed storage facility. Optimal temperature for storage of soybean seeds is about 4 degrees at 30% humidity. However, recent technical issues at the current storage facility have resulted in high temperatures and humidity. The injection of funds will create a new storage facility as well as increase the planting capacity from 300 to 1,000-1500 soybean seeds each year. Original story in Korean here

Gaui-do Island garlic seeds draw praise for quality: Feb16: Gaui-do Island in Taean County of South Chungcheongnam Provice is attracting a lot of attention for its garlic seeds. Gaui-do cultivates about 10,000 seeds of garlic every year in an area of ​​43,000 square meters but supply is insufficient to meet demand. The island has an ideal climate and high levels of phosphoric acid (P2O2), calcium, and potassium components in the soil, which are very important for cultivation of garlic seedlings. Taean County plans to expand the production of high-quality garlic by increasing production of garlic seeds from Gaui-do. In 2020, 4,726 farms in Taean County produced 11,752 tons of garlic in an area of ​​911 hectares, generating 49 million USD. Original story in Korean here

176 tonnes of govt rice seeds to be supplied: Feb16: Haman County in South Gyeongsang Province will supply 176 tons of rice seed to improve the quality of rice in the area. Government-supplied rice seeds have been tested for quality, have higher germination rates, and are more resistant to disease than self-cultivated seeds. Original article in Korean here

Pepper seeds in Eumseong: Feb 16: Eumseong County Agricultural Technology Center announced that it will start sowing pepper seeds from the 16th to the 27th of February in order to supply the pepper seedlings that were applied for in December last year. A total of 750,000 stocks of 5 varieties will be planted, a 17% increase compared to the previous year. The seedlings will be supplied to over 960 local farmers from mid-April. Original article in Korean here

Apply for bean seeds announcement: Feb 4: The National Seed Resources in South Chungcheong Province will receive applications for 120 tons of government-supplied soybean and red bean varieties until March 19th. Seeds will be supplied to farmers through local agricultural cooperatives from April 1st to May 10th. Original article in Korean here

Seoul Botanical Gardens donates seeds to Global Seed Vault: Feb 4: The Seoul Botanical Garden, which opened in 2019, announced that it will donate some 500 plant seeds of rater and endangered species owned to the Global Seed Vault of the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum. The Baekdudaegan Global Seed Vault was established in 2015 to preserve plant genetic resources for future generations and be able to withstand natural disasters and even nuclear explosions. Baekdudaegan is the world's first permanent storage facility for wild plant seeds. Read original article in Korean here

Rural Development Administration distributes seeds of 33 medicinal varieties: Jan 24: A department of the Rural Development Administration announced that this year, 33 medicinal crop seeds will be distributed through the Agricultural Technology Institutes of each province. Supplied seeds include turmeric, sikbangpung, guritdae, deodeok, bellflower, donggulle, hemp, maekmundong, banha, and baechohyang. Read original article in Korean here

New seed education center to provide practical industry training: January 2021:
A new International Seed Life Education Center has been established to cultivate seed industry experts in the seed industry. Thus far, practical training has been provided for 653 people through 20 courses, and will be expanded to an additional 1,096 students. The education center curriculum is mainly aimed at workers in the seed industry and rearing business, high school students and college students related to agricultural life, and public officials related to seeds. Curriculum covers processing, seed testing, seed export, fruit tree seedling production, experimental equipment utilization, and future generation expert courses. The Education Center&rsquos courses fo 2021 will be announced on its website by the end of January. Read more in Korean here.

Advancing seed sample image analysis technology: January 2021:
A new seed resource development program that utilizes the latest in image analysis technology being utilized the Gimcheon National Seed Resources, Gyeongbuk showing promise to significantly reduce the time needed to analyze seed sample characteristics. Typically, the process of collecting, examining, arranging, categorizing and logging 10 samples took researchers an average of 376 minutes per cultivar. Now, thanks to the improved, Seed Resources program utilizing the latest in image analysis technology -- in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Electronics Engineers -- this can be reduced by 30-50%. Read full details in Korean language here.

Native seeds of Hongcheon for Women: January 2021:
The National Federation of Women Farmers' Association, Gangwon Province has published the Indigenous Seeds of Hongcheon' book, which documents native seeds and traditions collected from various places in Hongcheon since 2018. The book uses local words to preserve the characteristics of the Hongcheon area, and records the method of farming native seeds in a way that Hongcheon female farmers plant. More in Korean here.

FACT Korea to distribute 2021 crop seeds: January 2021:
The Eumseong-gun Agricultural Technology Center has announced that it will receive applications (to acquire) 2020 field crop seeds, including 26 cultivars of nine crop species, which will be distributed through the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, Korea. Crops include soybeans, white beans,, black soybeans, red beans, Cho, Susu, Gijang, sesame, perilla and peanut. Farmers wishing to apply have until February 5. More details in Korean here.

Yangpyeong County promotes native seeds: January 2021:
The head of Yangpyeong-gun in Gyeonggi Province is promoting the preservation and use of native seeds as &ldquoessential for the health of the people." Since 2018, the first year of his inauguration, Gunsu Jung has been working with the private sector and the Rural Development Administration to engage farmers all over Yangpyeong, and collect seeds of dozens of species, including rice, potatoes, wheat, and others. Read more in Korean here.

Gonju willow rice farmer has seed stories: January 2021:
Hwang Jin-woong, a farmer in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, is a native seed conservitive who has been recording the stories contained in the seeds. From his efforts a type of &ldquoWillow rice&rdquo native to Gongju, was registered as a World Food Cultural Heritage in 2019. The farmer Hwang has been farming for 9 years in Bongmyeong-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju. Willow rice is the oldest cultivar of native rice remaining on the Korean Peninsula. It has been cultivated in parts of Chungcheong-do, such as Gongju, Dangjin, and Okcheon since the Neolithic period. In addition to cultivating native crops, he is also working on discovering, collecting, and promoting native seeds, having discovered 51 kinds of native seeds in Gongju this past year. Story in Korean here.



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