Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has constituted a Standing Committee of Seed Producers under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Seeds) of this Ministry. The Committee is represented by officers of the Ministry, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), national and state level Seed Corporations as well as stakeholders from the private sector.
The mandate of the Committee was to coordinate the efforts of different agencies for effective demand and supply mechanism and availability of seeds of various crops and varieties throughout the country. First and Second Meeting of this committee were held on 23.09.2011 and 28.12.2011 respectively, at New Delhi. During the aforesaid two meetings, major decisions that were arrived at are;
1. New procedure for breeder seed indent and lifting.
2. Seed Rolling Plan.
3. Popularization of new varieties.
4. Discouraging old varieties of more than l0 years by phasing out the subsidy gradually over a period of three years by reducing it to 50%, 25%, 25% in the 1st Year, 2nd Year and 3rd year respectively and completely removing it during the fourth year.
5. Procurement of seed through tender by the State Government -need for formulation of a uniform procedure.
These are major decisions affecting entire seed chain starting from Breeder Seed Indent to Certified/Quality seed production and distribution. Comments were invited to be sent to ministry up to 20.02.2012, for its adoption and implementation during 12th five year plan.
Some steps are also decided for Popularization of new varieties:
i. Department of Agriculture & Co-operation(DAC) may request the state for taking up extension work with the help of SSC, SAU’s, KVKs, State Seed Farms, and Private Seed Producers by using the funds under the schemes ATMA of GOI.
ii. Data base for performance of new varieties under minikits should be collected by respective seed supplying agencies and KVKs.
iii. Based on the performance of the variety in the demonstration, seed producers (public and private) will take up the seed production.
iv. DAC may request ICAR for suggestions for popularizing new variety/hybrid for increasing its production and phasing out old varieties in future.
The Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers Rights Act of India is effective since 2006 with a main objective of, establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plant. The decision taken by agriculture ministry is to encourage development of “New varieties” of plants, and is in line with objective of Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers Rights Act, 2001.