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11th August 2023 (8 Topics)

Seeds for growth

Context:

Agriculture and allied sectors are central to the Indian economy. Keeping this in mind, the Indian government, quite rightly, is promoting technology-enabled sustainable farming, including natural, regenerative and organic systems, during its G20 presidency.

Need to focus on Seeds:

  • To achieve global dominance- India needs to fulfil its goal of increasing profitability in agriculture along with increasing its share of export in the world market.
  • To achieve SDG goals- India’s performance in achieving the SDGs, especially goals one, two and three, ones linked to agriculture, are yet to reach desired levels.
  • To meet nutritional security- To ensure that we meet the targets for food and nutrition security, and the population’s well-being in a sustainable manner, it’s crucial to focus on the quality of the seeds that we use.

Technological Advancement made in Seed Industry:

  • Genetic advancement - Seed technology used today combines genetic advancement with applied technologies to provide quality-enhanced seeds with the ability to withstand a range of biotic and abiotic stressors.
  • Priming and enhancement technologies- Priming and enhancement technologies are emerging as an essential package of practices to ensure that seeds perform well under a wide range of growing conditions.
  • Film coating technology- Film coating technology is applied to organic and inorganic cultivation to improve seed handling, precision planting and use as carriers of pesticides and nutrients.

Way Ahead:

  • Supportive regulatory guidelines- As in the case of any technology, supportive regulatory guidelines will go a long way in the adoption and popularisation of seed technologies.
  • Consultations with stakeholders - Necessary guidelines should be formulated by concerned departments with extensive consultations with stakeholders for registration and use of bio-stimulants.
  • Required Modification- Modifications are needed to include coated/pelleted seed under the Certified Seed (CS) category, as at present coated seeds can be sold only as truthfully labelled (TL) seed.
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