Again, a “virtual” ISTA Ordinary General Meeting in 2021
After a first virtual Ordinary General Meeting in 2020, the one in 2021 replaced the event that should have been held in Cairo, Egypt.
To the 2 hours of meeting on June 3, 2021, intended to present the activity of the ISTA Secretariat, of the Executive Committee and the final proposals of amendment to the ISTA rules (submitted to vote) were added two sessions to allow the 20 Technical Committees to present their activity and production.
In parallel, the Plant Health Seminar was organized on three days (May 5, 12 and 19, 2021) and some technical committees have also held “Open meetings” to present their work in more details.
More than 10 GEVES collaborators are involved in technical or executive committees of ISTA. They actively work at developing and validating new methods, proposing or contributing to innovative research projects and discussing ISTA strategic orientations.
As the virtual host of this meeting, Egypt was at the front stage with an introductory presentation of the Egyptian seed sector by Marwa Hassan Saïd from the Central Administration for Seed Testing & Certification (CASC) and the participation of the CASC to the closing remarks session.
Within the Executive Committee, good progress has been made in setting up an initiative to attract new and young members to ISTA. ISTA funded projects are particularly aimed at using new technologies; the new website and electronic certificates are in progress.
Regarding the accreditation department, there has been a lot of activity in order to conduct remote audits that had to be postponed from 2019 and those planned for 2020, bringing the number of audits to be carried out in 2021 to 73. Currently there are 237 ISTA member laboratories of which 146 are accredited from 82 countries.
Among the amendments proposed to the vote are precisions to sample division materials, the addition of a temperature for Eustoma exaltatum germination, a clarification on how to report moisture content results for some species in Table 2C, the addition of Crepe Cellulose Paper for Glycine max germination, the addition of Agar substrate for germination and in particular for Pinus seeds, the possibility of using methylene blue to help in the identification of Ustilago nuda, and the harmonization of the methods of seed pre-treatment in 5 protocols of health tests.
Finally, the dates and places of the next two Congress and Ordinary General Meeting, which we hope to be held in person: Christchurch (New Zealand) from May 4 to 10, 2022 and Saint Petersburg (Russia) end of May 2023.
More than 10 GEVES collaborators are involved in technical or executive committees of ISTA. They actively work at developing and validating new methods, proposing or contributing to innovative projects and discussing ISTA strategic orientations.