SeedNet India Portal
Seed is the basic and most critical input for sustainable agriculture. The response of all other inputs depends on quality of seeds to a large extent. It is estimated that the direct contribution of quality seed alone to the total production is about 15 – 20% depending upon the crop and it can be further raised up to 45% with efficient management of other inputs. The developments in the seed industry in India, particularly in the last 30 years, are very significant. A major re-structuring of the seed industry by Government of India through the National Seed Project Phase-I (1977-78), Phase-II (1978-79) and Phase-III (1990-1991), was carried out, which strengthened the seed infrastructure that was most needed and relevant around those times. This could be termed as a first turning point in shaping of an organized seed industry. Introduction of New Seed Development Policy (1988 – 1989) was yet another significant mile stone in the Indian Seed Industry, which transformed the very character of the seed industry. The policy gave access to Indian farmers of the best of seed and planting material available anywhere on the world. The policy stimulated appreciable investments by private individuals, Indian Corporate and MNCs in the Indian seed sector with strong R&D base for product development in each of the seed companies with more emphasis on high value hybrids of cereals and vegetables and hi-tech products such as Bt. Cotton. As a result, farmer has a wide product choice and seed industry today is set to work with a ‘farmer centric’ approach and is market driven. However, there is an urgent need for the State Seed Corporations also to transform themselves in tune with the industry in terms of infrastructure, technologies, approach and the management culture to be able to survive in the competitive market and to enhance their contribution in the national endeavour of increasing food production to attain food & nutritional security.