Agri Business

Agri research body plans seed hub in West Bengal

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on February 10, 2013

The 12th Plan proposes setting up of four seed hubs across the country at an estimated investment of Rs 200 crore.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) plans to set up a seed hub in West Bengal to produce better quality and varieties of seeds.

According to Swapan K. Datta, Deputy Director-General of ICAR, the proposed seed hub would come up in the North Bengal region of the State.

“West Bengal offers tremendous potential in the agriculture and horticulture sectors. What we need is development of good quality and varieties of seeds so as to be able to enhance productivity,” Datta told newspersons on the sidelines of the valedictory session of the agri-horti food festival.

Private participation

The festival was organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce jointly with the State Departments of Agriculture, Food Processing and Horticulture here on Sunday.

While ICAR will provide the necessary infrastructure and technology for setting up the seed hub, the private sector should chip in to scale it up on a commercial basis, he said.

The 12th Plan proposes setting up of four seed hubs across the country at an estimated investment of Rs 200 crore, he said, adding one of these would come up in West Bengal.

Despite being the second largest producer of potatoes in the country, West Bengal is dependent on states such as Punjab and Uttar Pradesh for its seeds, he said, highlighting the need for a seed hub.

“If the State can produce its own seeds then it will prove to be cost effective. Apart from potatoes, there is also a potential for developing oil seeds and maize seeds which have a good demand,” he pointed out.

Model Farms to be set up

The West Bengal Government would facilitate setting up of model farms for promoting production of agriculture and horticulture products in various districts, said Subrata Saha, State Food Processing Industries and Horticulture Minister.

The State Government would provide necessary infrastructural support to farmers who have adopted a cluster approach.

“Once we roll it out in districts we will slowly spread out to sub divisions and blocks,” he said.

>shobha.roy@thehindu.co.in

Published on February 10, 2013

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