“There are opportunities to export seeds to the African countries, where there is no seed production.”

Karnataka Krishi Mission is planning to earmark Rs 150 crore to improve the quality and quantity of seed production in the State. “There is an urgent need to improve the seed production in the State. “The State has consistently failed to meet its own needs.

“Hence, a sizeable budget is being planned,” said S.A. Patil, Chairman of the mission, speaking at UAS-Dharwad’s Beeja Mela. “Grant of Rs 150 crore is being provided under the mission’s schemes this year for seed production.

“Farmers’ groups and universities should be roped in to achieve self reliance in seed production,” he added. Also, the State’s track record in seed production has been poor as it has not been able to produce and supply seeds for several crops and vegetables. Patil told farmers that seed production is a profitable business, and they should carry out farming as a business.

“Therefore, farmer education is important. “If they are uneducated it is the duty of the agricultural scientists to educate them and make agriculture a profitable industry.” As for marketing, there are many opportunities at our door step. Universities should explore export of seeds to the African countries, he said.

“There are opportunities to export seeds to the African countries where agricultural activities are picking up but there is no seed production,” said Patil. At the Beeja Mela, Dr David Barnard of Manitoba University, Canada, released a booklet on ‘Onion Seed Production’.

Later speaking to farmers, Dr Barnard said food security is a global problem. Agricultural universities should serve the farmers in overcoming the food security problem, he said.

anil.u@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 23, 2012)
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