Ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare informed that the Union government has started seed hubs to produce good quality seeds of pulses, oilseeds and millets.
Seed is the most important and vital input for agricultural production.
In fact, it is the most cost efficient means of increasing agricultural production and productivity.
Seeds Efficacy of other agricultural inputs in enhancing productivity and production, such as fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation is largely determined by the quality of seed.
Quality of seed accounts for 20-25% of productivity.
It is, therefore, important that quality seeds are made available to the farmers of the country.
The Indian Seeds programme recognizes three generations of seeds, namely, breeder, foundation and certified seeds.
The seeds are made available to the farmers at the district / taluka level through:
51 state and central agricultural and horticultural universities
65 crop-based ICAR institutes and their regional stations
726 Krishi Vigyan Kendras
3,000 dealers of National Seed Corporation Ltd
17 state seed corporations
6 public sector undertakings
550 private seed companies, farmer-producer organisations and non-profits
Types of seed:
Breeder seed is seed or vegetative propagating material directly controlled by the originating or sponsoring plant breeder of the breeding programme or institution and/ or seed whose production is personally supervised by a qualified plant breeder and which provides the source for the initial and recurring increase of foundation seed.
Breeder seed shall be genetically so pure as to guarantee that in the subsequent generation i.e. certified foundation seed class shall confirm to the prescribed standards of genetic purity.
The other quality factors of breeder seed such as physical purity, inert matter, germination etc. shall be indicated on the label on actual basis.
Foundation seed shall be the progeny of Breeder seed or be produced from foundation seed, which can be clearly traced to Breeder seed.
Thus foundation seed can even be produced from foundation seed during the production of Foundation Seed the minimum seed certification standard shall be the same for both foundation seed stage-I and II.
The certification tag shall be white colour for both foundation seed stage-I and II.
The production of foundation seed stage I and II shall be supervised and approved by the certification agency and be so handled as to maintain specific genetic identity and genetic purity and shall be required to confirm to certification standards specified for the crop / variety being certified.
Certified seed shall be the progeny of foundation seed and its production shall be so handled as to maintain specific genetic identity and purity according to the standards prescribed for the crop being certified.
Certified seed may be the progeny of certified seed provided this reproduction does not exceed three generations beyond foundation seed stage-I.
Central Sector Scheme “Development and Strengthening of Infrastructure Facilities for Production and Distribution of Quality Seeds”:
The restructured Central Sector Scheme “Development and Strengthening of Infrastructure Facilities for Production and Distribution of Quality Seeds” is under implementation from the year 2005-06.
The objective of the scheme is to develop and strengthen the existing infrastructure for the production and distribution of certified /quality seeds to farmers.
The details of the components of the scheme are as under:
Assistance for Boosting Seed Production in the Private Sector
Seed Village Scheme
Establishment and Maintenance of Seed Bank
Quality Control Arrangements on Seeds
Promoting Hybrid Rice Seeds
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001
It provides for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.
The scheme is implemented by Protection of Plant Varieties and farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Authority and autonomous statutory body corporate established under PPV & FR Act, 2001 in November, 2005.
The functions of the Authority include
registration of plant varieties to protect plant breeder’s rights, which would stimulate investment for research & development for the development of new plant varieties leading to agricultural development in the country, and
To protect the rights of the farmers in respect of their contribution made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources.
The Authority is accordingly, taking steps for development of new varieties of plants and protection of rights of farmers’ and breeders.