Seed exported to a few OECD countries for the first time this year
The year that is coming to an end has been the most eventful for the seed sector of Telangana since it has seen the State taking the leadership role at the national level and also making a mark at the international level with export of seed under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) programme.
Setting the house in order first, the State government ensured timely availability of seed before the commencement of every agriculture season for the last three years, although the problem of inferior quality seed raised its head every now and then. As it had little or no powers to deal with the spurious seed issue/offenders, the State government amended an existing law bringing the subject under the purview of Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act.
Admitting that all incidents of farmers suffering losses due to spurious seed may not have been addressed, a senior officer of the Agriculture Department said: “A good beginning has been made this year by making two seed companies pay compensation to chilli farmers in Gadwal, Khammam and Warangal (Rural) districts after they suffered crop loss due to inferior quality seed”.
On the other hand, the Telangana government hosted stakeholders’ conferences on OECD seed certification twice and national meeting of public sector seed entities towards improving the quality of seed to international standards. It was decided to promote inter-State sale of seed by public sector entities to make them affordable to the farming community.
“We have mooted setting up seed export promotion council and a centre of excellence to promote seed exports through single window system to OECD countries in South and South East Asia and Africa and the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare is examining it,” Agriculture Production Commissioner C. Parthasarathi, who has been recently appointed as co-chairman of the national task force on OECD seed schemes, said when contacted.
After becoming the nodal agency for OECD seed certification for four States, Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Agency (TSSOCA) has achieved the distinction of exporting sorghum and paddy seed for the first time to Sudan, Philippines, Vietnam and Egypt. “About 17,000 qunitals seed raised with international standards in 2,271 acres in Telangana has been exported to those countries and we have plans to increase it to 50,000 quintals this year from over 6,000 acres,” Director of TSSOCA K. Keshavulu explained.
One more recognition that has come to the Telangana State seed sector this year is selection of Mr. Keshavulu as the chairman of the advisory council of the International Seed Testing Association to coordinate the international seed agencies and the seed industry. The Union Agriculture Ministry has already appointed him as the nodal officer for taking up a field-level study for the country’s membership in the Europe Equivalence.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by B. Chandrashekhar / Hyderabad – December 29th, 2017