Govt to work on seed traceability mechanism

K. V. Kurmanath | | Updated on: Mar 13, 2019

Move aimed at curbing the usage of illegal or contaminated seeds

With spurious and low quality seeds swarming the markets causing extensive damage to farmers’ incomes, the Centre has decided to bring in a mechanism to ensure traceability of seeds.

The government will discuss the issue with stakeholders, including the seed producers, to come out with a technology-based solution that will help farmers to trace the origin of the seed that they had purchased.

When a farmer buys a seed, he should know its origin till the foundation seed, Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary of Agriculture (government of India), said.

Interacting with seed producing companies here on Tuesday, he said the Union government will involve State governments and the industry to create a mechanism for traceability with a timeframe.

Stating that there are about 130 seed testing and certification centres in the country, he said all these labs needed to be linked.

Earlier addressing the valedictory, NSAI President M Prabhakara Rao asked the government to reduce fee to register varieties as recommended by the Protection of Plant Varieties Authority. “Their recommendation is pending with the government,” he said.

He also wanted the government to take measures to control Fall Armyworm which has affected the maize crop extensively.

The NSAI President also pointed out at the menace of HT cotton (herbicide-tolerant), which accounted for about 10 per cent of the cotton area in the country. “Though the area under these illegal seeds has not grown beyond 10 per cent, it has become a problem for organised players. We are facing allegations due to contamination of the seed,” he said.

Published on March 13, 2019
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