In the past 20 years Thailand has become one of the major areas for hand pollinated seed production. Hsin Seeds, founded in the eighties, has played its positive part in this development.
Over the years Hsin Seeds has developed into one of the major seed production companies in Thailand.
Oriental Seeds BV, in its role of agent contracting seed productions for them world wide, from the start has had strong ties with Hsin Seeds.
Together with Orientals’ China operation this offers year-round seed production situation: spring–summer in China and autumn-winter time in Thailand.
Geography and particulars of the area
Most seed production is located in the North East triangle Khon Kaen – Udon Thani – Sakon Nakon. Hsin Seeds has also developed the area of Mukdahan(alongside the Mekong river, bordering Laos).
All areas are traditionally made up of farming communities, mostly growing paddy rice and some local vegetables and tropical fruits.
The area has a very good infra structure in terms of roads, airports (Khon Kaen, Udon Thani), hotels, telecommunication, etcetera.
Production orders are subcontracted to local farmers. A typical seed grower would produce 0.25 to 1.50 rai of a certain seed crop; a rai being 1600 m2.
The grower is in charge of all processes from plant nursery to planting, hybridization, crop management, harvesting and finally seed extraction. However the crop inspectors from Hsin Seeds will guide and manage the growers on an almost daily basis. Hsin Seeds also plays a facilitating and guiding role supplying the growers with chemicals, plastic, net and other items essential for a quality end product.
As most crops are grown during the dry season, irrigation is required. The farmers make use of small reservoirs, river water (when the field is situated alongside a river), wells and other water containment and distribution systems.
Availability of labor for hybridization is sufficiently and relatively cheap.
Being a tropical country, Thailand has a relatively hot and humid spring and summer. However autumns and winters are dry and milder temperature-wise.
The rainy season with an average rainfall of 1500 mm starts in April and ends in September.
Late September through October when the rains have stopped, most of the seed production crops are sown.
From that moment on the temperatures are going up and starting early December until January the conditions become most suitable for hybridization and seed maturation. The maximum temperature during that period is 35 degrees Celsius. The crops are harvested before the rainy season starts again in April.
Currently Hsin is mainly producing hand pollinated hybrid tomato, hybrid pepper, hybrid eggplant, hybrid melon, hybrid watermelon, hybrid squash and hybrid cucumber.
The sowing dates of these crops are:
hybrid tomato: from late September until early November
hybrid pepper: from early September until late September
hybrid melon, watermelon, squash and cucumber: August + December + May (3 productions cycles per year)
Logistics and infrastructure
Hsin Seeds is responsible for stock seed import, order distribution, crop/grower guidance, seed cleaning, disinfecting seed, packaging and export.
For these different processes they have a very well trained staff of crop inspectors. The staff lives and operates out of small offices in the most important production areas.
The cleaning, packaging and disinfecting of the seed, is done at the hereto-equipped Hsin facility in Khon Kaen.
Next to that they also operate a farm near Khon Kaen where activities such as small quantity seed productions, purity trials and production research trials are taking place.