Agri Business

Ministry of Agriculture asks States and agencies to be vigilant about suspicious seed parcels

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on August 07, 2020 Published on August 07, 2020

“Since last few months, thousands of such suspicious seed shipments have been reported across the world”

Following the BusinessLine story about National Seed Association of India (NSAI) asking the Centre to put its agencies on high alert against Chinese seeds penetrating into Indian fields, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has issued an office memorandum on the matter. Stating that unsolicited seed parcels can be a threat to India’s bio-diversity, the Ministry has asked State Agriculture Departments, agriculture universities, seed associations, certification agencies, seed corporations and the ICAR to be vigilant about suspicious seed parcels.

The office memorandum mentions that the Department of Agriculture has noticed the threat of unsolicited/ suspicious seed parcels in mislabelled packages from unknown sources were reported in many countries. “Since last few months, thousands of such suspicious seed shipments have been reported across the world” the memorandum mentioned putting agencies in India on alert.

BusinessLine on August 4 had published a story ‘NSAI warns of Chinese seeds of terror’. The NSAI has not found any Chinese seeds in the Indian market to date, but had issued an alert on the basis of an International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) warning on the entry of suspicious seeds in the Indian market.

“We welcome the government's memorandum on seed contamination threats. The seed officials have been steadfast in dealing with this potential threat. We request the government again, to act in the same way to curb seed terrorism destroying the cotton seed sector, and punish those responsible for getting illegal HT cotton seeds in the country too” said Indra Shekhar Singh, Director-Policy and Outreach, NSAI. He added that by enacting our biodiversity laws, the government will curb the ₹300 crore illegal trade and send a clear message to all the other bio-pirates and seed terrorists, that India cannot be messed with.

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Published on August 07, 2020
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