The government will take efforts to increase seed output in the state

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GUWAHATI, September 16: Assam’s state government will take efforts to fix flaws in seed manufacturing and certification systems.

According to official sources, the absence of adequate organisation in the seed manufacturing process, as well as insufficient regulatory enforcement and lack of knowledge, are among the primary causes for seed non-certification at the farmer level.

“There is room for seed production to grow in the state.” Certain concerns, however, must be addressed. To begin with, the seed manufacturing process is disorganised. Furthermore, the seed market is underserved and poorly organised. Seeds from certified farmers are scarce, and nine out of ten seeds are marketed as grain.

There is also worry about the lack of resources and infrastructure at the Agriculture Department’s and Assam Seeds Corporation Ltd’s (ASCL) seed farms “according to a source

He went on to say that the non-certification of seeds at the farmer level is due to a variety of factors.

“Growers are unwilling to pay for their own certification. The cost of certification is an extra burden for them, especially because there is no guarantee of a repurchase. There is no previous notification of the types of seeds that the Agriculture Department would buy under various programmes. As a result, the seeds cultivated by farmers are not certified and end up in the unorganised market. Existing restrictions are also unenforced. Farmers are unaware of the importance of quality seeds and the seed replanting ratio “Added he.

The state administration is trying to put in place certain measures to address seed production and certification concerns.

“One of the suggestions is to create a technical group to develop plans and policies at the state level. In addition, the government wants to secure seed buyback from producers and promote ASCL’s mobile seed sales at weekly markets and villages with the help of the Agriculture Department’s extension staff. The source added that “increasing counter sales by ASCL at various levels, strengthening ASCL and Agriculture department seed farms, making high yielding variety (HYV) certified seeds available well in advance for timely distribution and sale, the establishment of new seed processing plants, and bringing private seed entrepreneurs under the ASCL umbrella are all being considered.” He stated

The Agriculture Department and ASCL, a government of Assam initiative, have the capacity to generate the needed number of foundation seeds at their seed farms.

ASCL has 12 seed farms totaling 250.50 hectares of cultivable land.

“The Agriculture Department has 40 seed farms that may be utilized in the PPP method for seed production. At Assam Agricultural University (AAU) and other national research institutes, breeder seeds are accessible “another source stated.

In 2020-21, the ASCL seed farms are expected to produce 494 metric tonnes (MT), up from 429.70 MT in 2019-20.

The State Cabinet today approved the infrastructure development of the 12 farms under ASCL and announced that the Horticulture Nursery Ulubari, Guwahati, and the ASCL’s Ulubari Nursery will be turned into state-of-the-art facilities.