Hyderabad: The Telangana State Government recommended for having a seed Certification to be made mandatory by amending the 1966 Seed Act where it is mentioned as voluntary, said Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Minister for Agriculture and Allied Departments, Telangana State.
On Wednesday, the Minister inaugurated 2-day Workshop on International OECD Seed certification organised by the Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority, Department of Agriculture, Telangana in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, cooperation and family welfare, Government of India in The Park hotel, Raj Bhavan Road, Hyderabad by lightening the lamp.
The minister also recommended the central Government for establishment of referral seed testing lab in Hyderabad to facilitate the South Indian needs, as presently only one referral lab is at Varanasi. He also added to improve the functioning of all seed certification agencies for production of quality seeds and from 2017 the certification process to be done through on-line. He said that the public and Private seed sector should be strengthened in the Telangana state for emerging as a Global Seed hub. He quoted that with the efforts of Chief Minister the seed companies have adopted 83 villages in the state and under the seed village programme of Agriculture Department both the Rabi and Kharif season about 2428 villages in the entire state were selected for seed production of different varieties in about 24280 hectares with 60,000 farmers. He also stated that the Chief Minister’s vision to make the telangana state as the global seed hub will be fulfilled and such workshops shall add the input of the experts for developing quality seed domestically. He also mentioned that the state government has taken serious action on the culprits involved in recent issue of spurious seeds which has affected about 2500 farmer families.
He also said that the Government is on mission for producing quality seed and plat material. He mentioned that the state has 400 seed companies where about 60% seed is supplied from the state which is cultivated in 2lakh acres and the seed sector is earning 400crores turnover every year by providing employment to 20,000 employees.
Rajesh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Seeds), GOI has announced that the Telangana state will host the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) 2019 conference, 42 new varieties are added to OECD seed Certification list. Alo Lead Designated authority for the North India is Rajasthan and for South India is Telangana State. He said that the Government of India has sanctioned 12.8 Lakhs for establishment of ISTA lab in Telangana State. He also said that the budgetary support will be extended for strengthening of the seed organisation, and committees are formed for auditing seed labs, monitoring, review of the OECD seed certification activities. he said that the 1966 draft seed bill is with the parliament and the issue of making the certification as mandatory will be examined by the GoI, considering legal issues. He said that at the earliest the certification will be made online by linking to the Universities for the examination of field trials. He mentioned that the government has developed protocols with Bangladesh and Nepal with the aim of boosting trad and tapping good variety of seed under OECD scheme. the Government is also taking efforts in attaining uniformity of seed certification in the country and also to build up infrastructure, testing labs to maintain the standards for international exports.
C. Parthasarathi, Secretary, Agriculture and allied Departments (Telangana) in his introductory remarks has said seed crop zones should be developed as the country has diversified climate. He said that the Indian seed industry is competitive, develops varietal crops with quality seed production. He said that OECD scheme implementation in the country will increase exports and increases foreign exchange.
He also pointed out that the staff working in the seed certification are post graduates, well qualified and the expertise must be used in an appropriate way. in the last year the state has achieved OECD seed produced of about 152 quintals in about 20 acres. He said that this Rabi season under OECD scheme 1269 acres is registered which will provide an opportunity to sensitise farmers and provide training for staff on the scheme.he also mentioned the labs in the state will be upgraded to ISTA standards for better implementation of the scheme. He also mentioned that the Indian Embassy in the other countries shall act as facilitators for the success of OECD seeds exports from the country. He said that at the implementation of OECD scheme finally the Farmer should produce quality seed and staff get exposed to the international expertise. He added that the Indian seed industry is at 12- 15%,growth, and the Telangana Government is going to bring changes in nursery act and also new act for quality seed for justice to the farming community and to take stringent actions against trader who cheats the farmers with spurious seeds.
Today’s workshop further included three techinical sessions discussing on the OECD seed schemes, status of OECD seed Scheme in India, scope to enhance international seed trade, schemes rules and regulations, issues of seed certification, suggestions for strengthening of seed certification Agencies.
Later on the proceedings of National workshop on OECD seed certification held in July and a brochure of International OECD seed certification is released by the Minister.
The workshop welcome address was given by Dr. K. Keshavulu, TSSOCA, Hyderabad, M. Jagan Mohan, Commissioner, Department of Agriculture, V K Gaur, CMD, NSC Ltd, New Delhi, M. Prabhakar Rao, President, NSAI, Eddie Goldschagg, OECD Seed expert, South Africa, Gerry Hall, OECD seed expert UK, Officials from the agriculture and horticulture department, scientists representatives from seed certification agencies, corporation,
Seed companies from all over the country. -NSS