Seed World

Parting Views from ISTA 2024

ISTA’s Centenary Annual Meeting drew to a close this afternoon in Cambridge. The final hours of the meeting were packed with intense discussion, fitting for the enormity of the challenges the seed testing sector faces in meeting critical global priorities ahead. 

Friday’s ISTA – ISF Forum focused on quality seed production for resilient and sustainable agriculture. The Forum featured a celebration of both organizations’ 100th anniversaries, a look back at the progress of quality seed assurance to date, and — most importantly — a look forward at how seed testing can best contribute to feeding a hungry world and tackling climate change. 

ISTA’s Secretary General Andreas Wais and President Keshavulu Kunusoth, together with ISF’s Secretary General Michael Keller and President Santosh Attavar, opened the proceedings. 

As Keller noted, “We are looking in the same direction. We have different roles but only together can we achieve our combined goals.”

Following several presentations on research and corporate efforts, and a strong call to action from the FAO’s deputy director of the FAO Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) Chikelu Mba, journalist and BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Anna Hill took the microphone to moderate a rousing discussion about what’s ahead for the seed testing sector. Interestingly, one of the biggest topics in that discussion was tree seed: watch for highlights and perspective from that chat next week.