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  • Seed is the most important input in agriculture. Increased yields in modern agriculture are directly a result of genetic improvements in the quality of seeds. These improvements increase the yield of crops as well as help the plants resist pest attacks and disease.

  • However, farmers are consistently cheated by unscrupulous supplies of seed. Substandard seed can be of different types:

    • A large proportion of seed may not germinate at all. Often the farmer will know of the failure too late, and the season will be lost.

    • The seed may germinate, but may not be of the variety the farmer was led to believe. Until the crop matures and harvest time comes, the farmer will not known that he was cheated. Meanwhile huge expense would have been incurred on a worthless crop, compounding the tragedy.

    • In hybrid seeds, the seed must be produced afresh for every crop by union of selected breeding must be carefully done, and seeds resulting from self-pollination must be removed. If such care is not exercised, the farmer loses, because seeds through self pollination are worthless.

    • Instead of producing hybrid seeds afresh, unscrupulous traders may simply use the crop from a hybrid and sell these worthless seeds called F2 generation. A small quantity of hybrid seed will yield a large quantity of F2 seed and by marketing it as hybrid, the trader makes huge profit without any investment needed for producing hybrid seeds. The unsuspecting farmer is the victim of a fraud.

    • The seed may be stored too long or stored improperly or not treated with the necessary chemicals to prevent contamination. By such important treatment and storage, the seed either loses its vitality or will be prone to disease, causing havoc to the farmer.

  • The Seeds Act, 1966 has been elected to regulate and ensure the quality of seeds. The Act provides for the following:

    • Fixing minimum standards of germination, purity and other qualities.
    • Testing seeds for quality factors at the seed testing laboratories of the government
    • Inspection and certification of seeds
    • Licensing and certification of dealers in seeds
    • Compulsory labeling of seed containers to indicate the quality and type of seeds offered for sale.
  • Whoever deals in the sale of seeds must have a license issued by the government officials authorized for that purpose, and must satisfy the following requirements.

    • The seed sold must be identifiable as to its kind or variety.
    • Such seed must conform to the minimum standards of germination and purity prescribed by government.
  • There are more than 1100 certified dealers in seed, licensed by the agricultural department in the state. The seeds they sell are of two types.

    • Certified seeds: They are genetically tested in the seed testing laboratories and found to be of good quality. The certificate issued by the government agency is valid for 9 months. The government takes responsibility for the germination, growth and maturity in cases of certified seeds. These seeds are sold in bags with blue coloured tags for easy identification.

    • Labeled seeds: They are self-declared by the producer and have not been tested by the government agency. Therefore farmers must ensure that there is no spurious labeling. Labeled seed must be purchased only from reliable producers or dealers and only when farmers have confidence in the producer's past reputation and record. These seeds are sold in bags with buff coloured tags for identification.

  • Farmers can save their own seed in case of high yielding varieties. Such varieties do not require selective breeding and production of seed for every crop. From the harvest of one crop, the better seeds can be separated and saved for the next crop and used again.

  • Labeled seeds and high yielding seeds produced and saved by farmers should be treated to prevent infections. Farmers may learn the techniques of treatment from the other good farmers or from the officials of agriculture department.

Precautions while purchasing seed:

  • Please purchase from authorized dealers only.
  • Please make sure that certified seeds have the seal of State Seed Certification Agency and blue colour tags.
  • Please verify and note the following details of the invoice for purchase order.

  *Lot number.

  • Number of bags purchased --- quality

  • Rice
  • Season of the seeds
  • Producer of the seeds
  • Processing plant number
  • Signature of certified officers
  • Place of production

If seed is substandard, what should you do ?

  • Please complain to the Mandal Agriculture Officer immediately. They are the seed inspectors appointed by government and have the duty to inspect the premises of seed dealers. They collect samples and test them for quality.

  • If there is reasonabledoubt about the quality of seed, the Agriculture Officers can withhold sale of seed for 30days.

  • It the seed tests prove that it is substandard, then the entire stock is seized and the dealers is prosecuted.

  • Please remember that once you used sub-standard seed, you are the loser no matter what happens to the dealer later. There is no satisfactory provision in law for adequately compensating the farmer for his losses on accountant of sub-standard seed. It is best to take all precautions in advance, and use only assured seed, preferably certified by government and sold by a reputed and authorised dealer.

  • Farmer's organizations, good co-operatives or marketing societies can help you in getting good quality seed. You are your best friend. Please organise yourselves for your own benefit.

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