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Agriculture Policies since Independence: Seeds

 Agriculture Policies since Independence: Seeds

  • In India, more than four-fifths of the farmers rely on farm-saved seed leading to a low seed replacement rate.
  • The importance of seeds as a crucial input was more formally recognized with the introduction of High Yielding Varieties (HYV) of seeds developed in Mexico by Prof. Norman Boriaug. It was introduced during the mid — 1960s after the third Five Year Plan.
  • The Indian Seed Programme includes the participation of Central and State Government, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), State Agricultural Universities and the Seed Corporations and private players.
  • There are 15 State Seed Corporations besides two National level Corporations, viz., the National Seeds Corporation and the State Farms Cooperation of India.
  • According to the type of seed generation, there are three types of seeds which are produced viz. breeder, foundation and certified seeds.  Indian Agriculture since Independence: Seeds
  • Breeder seeds are the highest class seeds and come directly from plant breeder. Foundation seeds are grown from the breeder seeds and the Certified seeds are grown from the foundation seeds.

Development and Strengthening of Infrastructure Facilities for Production and Distribution of Quality seeds:

  • It is a central government scheme implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, since 2005-06.
  • It aims to facilitate the availability of quality seeds of various crops to the farmers at affordable price and in time so as to enhance seeds replacement rate.
  • The scheme also aims to improve the quality of farm-saved seeds through ‘Seed Village Programme’.
  • The Central Government has also financed Tissue Culture facilities in Odisha and Maharashtra for banana and pomegranate respectively. Agriculture Policies since Independence: Seeds

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Authority:

  • It has been established in November 2005 to implement provisions of the PPV&FR Act, 2001. The Act was enacted to protect the Intellectual Property Rights (lPRs) of plant breeders and to stimulate investment in R&D for the development of new plant varieties.
  • 14 crops were notified for the purpose of registration under the Act.

Important policy initiatives under the amended NEW POLICY ON SEED DEVELOPMENT (NPSD) include permitting 100% FDI under the automatic route and simplifying the procedure for inclusion of new varieties in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Seeds Scheme.

The thrust is also on creating a Seed Bank. A Seed Rolling Plan for the period up to 2016-17 is in place for all the states since 2013-14 for identification of food varieties for the seed chain, and agencies responsible for seed production at every level. Agriculture Policies since Independence: Seeds

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