ISU-SSC Hosts Visiting Seed Researcher from India

Alka SinghDr. Alka Singh, Professor and Principal Scientist from the ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India, spent two weeks in October 2019 as a guest researcher at the Iowa State University (ISU) Seed Science Center (SSC). 

The Center provided Dr. Singh  on-site office support, facilitated her interactions with faculty at the university, and assisted her work on seed policy, seed systems, trade, regulatory as well as biosafety and policy issues related to genetically modified agricultural products.

Dr. Singh chose the ISU-SSC because she said she wanted to examine a global perspective regarding socioeconomic, biosafety, policy and regulatory framework of new agri-biotechnologies in the food sector.

“I wanted to have a cross-cultural perspective which would enable me to provide science-based analysis on the risks and benefits of biotech products, as well as guidance and recommendations to policy and regulatory groups in India,” Singh said.  “ISU and the Seed Science Center have the experience I was seeking and are well equipped with scientists concerning these issues.”

While she was in Iowa, Singh visited local seed companies, attended the World Food Prize in Des Moines, and participated in the Everson Global Seed Symposium as a panel member.

“The Everson Global Seed Symposium taught me about holistic seed system development across the stakeholders and enlightened me about the U.S. system of seed health, certification and trade,” Singh said. “While in Iowa, I met many stalwarts in the field of agricultural sciences, policy analysts, input industry persons, and several international organizations working to strengthen food and nutrition sector across the globe.”

Though her visit was short, Dr. Singh says she sees many opportunities for future collaborations with the ISU-SSC.

“I wish to act as future resource person related to Indian policies with Iowa State University, particularly concerning development of seed systems,” Singh said. “I would also to encourage my students and young faculty to participate in global programs of Iowa State University.”