- Seed is the numero uno input for agriculture, which determines the response of all other inputs viz irrigation, fertilizer and plant protection chemicals etc.
- In the significant advances that India registered in agriculture in the last few decades, the role of the seed sector has been substantial.
- The development of high yielding varieties/ hybrids of wheat, rice, maize, pearl millet and sorghum in early sixties were the landmark beginning for development of the seed programme in the country.
- The World Bank assisted considerably for strengthening of Indian seed programme by launching NSP I in 1977-78 and subsequently NSP II in the following year.
About National Seed Project of ICAR
- The ICAR along with its partner i.e. SAUs shouldered the responsibility of producing the breeder seed through launch of All India Coordinated Research Project on seed called ‘National Seed Project (Crops)’ in 1979-80 with two components viz. Breeder Seed Production (BSP) and Seed Technology Research (STR).
- The seed programme of the country was further strengthened with NSP III through World Bank assistance in 1989-90, which not only supported the ICAR and SAUs but also Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Seeds Corporations, Seed Certification Agencies and Private Seed Industries to a great extent in production, processing and in providing quality seeds to the farmers.
Mandate: To ameliorate Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) and Varietal Replacement Rate (VRR) through the production of adequate quantity of breeder seed and to develop region-specific seed technologies for improved yield and production
- To produce adequate quantities of nucleus and breeder seed as per national requirements.
- To conduct, coordinate and monitor research on different aspects of seed science and technology.
- To generate basic information on seed certification standards including seed health.
- To disseminate information and impart training on seed production, processing, storage & packaging, quality control and seed health.
- To make linkages with crop improvement projects, seed industries, seed certification agencies, NGOs / KGK / KVK etc.
National Seeds Policy, 2002: Thrust Areas
- variety development
- plant variety protection
- seed production
- quality assurance
- seed distribution and marketing
- infrastructure facilities
- transgenic plant varieties
- import of seeds and planting materials
- seed exports
- promotion of domestic private sector seed industry
- strengthening of the monitoring system
Seeds Bill, 2004: Salient Features
- Registration of kinds and varieties of Seeds etc.
- Evaluation of performance
- Compensation to Framers
- Registration of Seed Producers and Processing Units
- Seed dealers to be Registered
- Regulation of Sale of Seed and Seed Certification
- Seed Analysis and Seed Testing
- Export and Import of Seeds and Planting Material
- Offences and Punishment.