Replace farm saved seeds with seeds of improved varieties, says Prof Dutta

August 27, 2009, New Delhi

Prof. Swapan Kumar Dutta, Deputy Director General (Crop Science), Indian Council of Agricultural Research stressed upon the importance of enlightening the farmers regarding importance of quality seeds and the need to replace farm-saved seeds with quality seeds of improved varieties with superior genetics. He also recommended the formulation of a dynamic contingent seed production plan and crop wise monitoring of seed production.

Prof Dutta was addressing the delegates in the Annual Review Meeting of the ICAR Seed Project, Seed Production in Agricultural Crops held here recently. The meeting was attended by around 120 delegates involving Vice Chancellors, Directors of Research from various State Agricultural Universities, Directors from ICAR Institutes and Nodal Officers from 56 cooperating centres, across the length and breadth of the country.

Prof Dutta pointed out that we need to upgrade our production in terms of quality to play an important role in seed trade at national and international levels. He expressed great satisfaction over the progress made and congratulated the scientists engaged in the implementation of the project.

The project aims to strengthen capacity building for enhanced quality seed production of agricultural crops. On farm demonstration of production technology and disease free, true to type sapling/ seedling production using tissue culture/ micropropagation techniques and Human Resource Development through training have been given special importance.

During 2008-09, total quality seed production under field crops component was 6.34 lakh quintals, which comprises of 8546.73 quintals of nucleus seed, 120842.36 quintals of breeder seed, 97038.47 quintals of foundation seed, 38353 quintals of certified seeds, 112777.57 quintals of truthfully labelled seed, 203411.22 quintals of quality seed through participatory seed production programme. In addition, the centres have also produced 472.26 lakhs planting material and 1.22 lakhs tissue culture plantlets.

Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR, Dr Mangala Rai, has been instrumental in conceiving and administering the ICAR seed project, with a vision for ensuring adequate and uniform availability of quality seeds throughout the country. The project helped in infrastructural development for seed production and processing in several ICAR institutes & SAUs and it has made poignant impact on national seed production in the last three years. Quantum jump in seed production of field crops encompassing breeder, foundation, certified and truthfully labelled seeds; in sapling/planting material production of horticultural crops and in fry/ spawn/ fingerlings production in fisheries, has been recorded since 2005-06, the year project was launched.

After visualizing the spectacular success in X five year plan, the project has been continued in the XI five year plan too with a financial outlay of Rs 63.33 crore for field crops component alone involving 56 centres which includes 34 SAUs, 21 ICAR institutes and one non-ICAR institute. It is mentionable that during X five year plan, this project was launched with a financial  outlay of Rs 198.89 crore for the years 2005-06 and 2006-07 covering 86 centres throughout  the country to enhance quality seed  planting material/ fish seed production and  capacity building of National Agricultural Research System by providing required infrastructure, equipment and implements. In the X plan, the project was implemented for field crops, horticulture and fisheries components. 

(Source : PR Unit/August 2009)