Dr Keshavulu to head world seed body ISTA
Dr K Keshavulu, Director of Telangana State Seeds and Organic Certification Authority (TSSOCA) will be elected as the President of a world seed body, International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) at its four day 33rd conference in Cairo, Egypt, from May 8, Sunday to 11. This once in a three years conference was first formed in Zurich, Switzerland 98 years ago, in 1924.
This prestigious honor will be held for the first time by an Indian agriculture scientist. As Dr Keshavulu is from Telangana, this is also an hour to the State and all Telugu speaking people. Dr Keshavulu will be in the post for three years, till 2025. He is currently the vice-president of ISTA. Dr Keshavlu is also the managing director of Telangana State Seeds Development Corporation (TSSDC).
Telangana is now called as Seed Bowl of India, as it made rapid strides in seed production and technologies since the inception of the state in 2014. In fact, ISTA’s 32nd conference was held in Hyderabad from June 26 to July 3, 2019, under the aegis of then Agriculture Principal Secretary C Partha Sarathi, IAS (now he is Telangana State Election Commissioner). Dr Keshavulu was elected as vice-president of ISTA in that conference.
What is ISTA?
ISTA is an Inter-governmental organisation operates under the governments of its member countries/distinct economies with the mandate to develop, adopt and publish standard procedures for seed sampling and testing worldwide, thereby facilitating seed trade nationally and internationally, supporting global agriculture and contributes to food security worldwide.
ISTA provides standards for domestic and international seed trade. The ISTA standards have been adopted across the globe, including India, to ensure the supply of quality seeds to the farming community. Currently its membership consists of about 226 member seed testing laboratories from 82 countries around the world including 26 seed testing laboratories from India.
ISTA is managed and directed by the Executive Committee of President, Vice-President and other eight members at large, who are all the designated members elected / chosen from distinct economies of the World. ISTA conducts International Seed Congress for every three years, to provide a platform for exchange of knowledge in seed related aspects by involving world renowned seed experts, policy makers and scientists.
ISTA Seed Congress has been conducted in Europe, America, New Zealand and Australia and recently in Asia that too in India. In view of the innovative policy initiatives and commendable growth of seed sector in Telangana State, the 32nd edition of ISTA Seed Congress was held in India at Hyderabad, Telangana State for the first time in Asia from June 26 to July 03, 2019.
“C. Partha Sarathi, IAS, the then APC and Principal Secretary to Government of Telangana, out of his love and commitment towards seed sector development in the State, took keen interest in getting the ISTA Congress to Hyderabad and along with Dr. K. Keshavulu, Director, TSSOCA have organised 32nd ISTA Congress-2019 in Hyderabad most successfully for the first time in Asia in June 2019. It was a great success and applauded by the ISTA and Government of India as well as Global seed scientific community,” an ISTA spokesman told Excel India.
32nd ISTA Congress in Hyderabad was a tremendous success and given the global recognition for Telangana seed industry. Also helped to update the knowledge, skills and understanding of the recent advances in seed research, education and seed industry that in turn led to improvement in the seed production and seed quality regulation system in India as well as in the State of Telangana.
In line with the vision of making Telangana as Global Seed Hub, the Government of Telangana initiated various steps to improve the quality seed production and emerged as the first state in the country to promote seed exports through International (OECD) seed certification to different countries, and also established a world-class Seed Testing Laboratory with ISTA accreditation to promote seed exports from the Country and the State.
“In recognition of the innovative policies of the Govt. of Telangana towards seed sector development and the eminence and contributions of Dr. Keshavulu to the ISTA’s objectives, the ISTA has given an opportunity for Dr Keshavulu, Director, TSSOCA to become ISTA Vice-President for the period 2019-22 during 32nd ISTA Congress itself in Hyderabad,” said the spokesman.
“It is a great opportunity for Indian as well as Telangana Seed Industry and would help to improve the seed production and supply chain in the country in terms of quality and capability and also international cooperation on seed sector development”, said an official of agriculture department while talking to Excel India.
A large number of officials and agriculture scientists from Hyderabad will be leaving for Cairo to participate in ISTA congress.