The Consultation Meeting on "Preparing Road Map for Seed Research in India"

The Consultation Meeting on “Preparing Road Map for Seed Research in India” was organized on 1st August, 2011 under the Chairmanship of Dr. S. Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR in Plant Virology Auditorium, IARI, New Delhi.  The inaugural session of Consultation Meeting resumed with welcome address by Dr. H.S. Gupta, Director, IARI, New Delhi. At the outset, he welcomed the dignitaries on the dais, Dr. S. Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR, Dr. S.K. Datta, DDG (CS), ICAR, Dr. R.R. Hanchinal, VC, UAS, Dharwad, Dr. J.S. Sandhu, ADG (Seeds), Dr. M. Dadlani, Joint Director (Res.), IARI, Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi, Head, Division of Seed Science and Technology and 100 delegates representing both public and private sector who have come from all parts of the country. In his remarks, he emphasized on developing the world-class referral lab in India to address all issues related to seed quality.  The issues related to seed policy, seed industry development were highlighted to bring in the harmonization in seed trade for a vibrant seed industry.

Dr. R.R. Hanchinal, VC, UAS Dharwad in his address opined that accesss to good quality seed will aid in enhancing commercial yield by 30% to usher in food security. Further it is required that the focus needs to be on supply of best quality high volume low value seed at the door step of the farmers at reasonable cost. Since storage of seeds is a problem at the village level, the participatory and community based seed systems can help in solving this problem. He urged the scientists to work on issues related to climate change, seed viability and vigour to deliver better technologies to the stake holders. Dr. J.S. Sandhu, ADG (Seeds), ICAR, stressed on the need to work on developing quick test for genetic purity and seed health management to ensure better seed quality assurance. He was of the opinion that there are still larger indents for very old varieties which need to be replaced with new and best varieties.  There are 1200 varieties in seed chain.  It is important to maintain genetic purity to provide best quality seed. He also requested the scientists to explore the new areas for seed production.

Dr. S. Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR in his interaction with the seed scientists was of the opinion that seed is the basic input that creates considerable impact to usher in food security. The National Agricultural Research System including private sector and CG system needs to work on a common platform to deliver relevant innovations and seed production technologies. The new Seed Bill, which would help to streamline the supply of quality seed on new plane, is going to be the harbinger of seed quality assurance to the farmers and seed growers. He invited the views of the delegates relating to most important issues to be addressed in seed research during the next 10 years. He said that the roadmap for seed research in current decade should encompass a strategy that connects the status of seed research till date, based on the background information and analysis. This exercise needs to grow on the edifice of defined strategic planning framework, milestones and deliverables on a given time frame to address all the envisaged goal and vision of providing best quality seeds, and requisite practical technologies for seed grower, industry and other stake holders. This can be achieved only through team based network programmes focusing on basic, strategic, applied and anticipatory research, including public-private partnership.

The outcome of the workshop is expected to result in a strong national network linking seed scientists, seed enterprises and other stake holders to address the following:

  • To Develop and promote a shared vision and consensus for action on seed science and Technology
  • To develop network projects on frontier areas of seed science and Technology encompassing: 1. Documenting knowledge generated so far across NARS in seed Research; 2. Seed production and protection; and  3. Seed quality assessment and enhancement
  • Generation of information to encourage and debate to influence action by SAUs, NSP, and AICRPs to serve the cause of seed science and Technology
  • To usher in an environment to create India as a hub of excellence in seed research, production and international seed trade

(Source: Division of seed science and Technology, IARI, New Delhi)