Interview with the Executive Director, Shri Rajendra Trivedi, National Seed Association of India, New Delhi

Seed is Life! Seed is Culture,Diversity,Tradition and Knowledge.Seed is about Resilence and Survival!

Dr Lakshmi Unnithan, Editor Agriculture World and Krishijagran had a one to one interaction with the Executive Director of National Seed Association of India Shri Rajendra Trivedi. NSAI is the apex body representing the seed industry. Shri Rajendra Trivedi speaks on how NSAI renews its commitment to seed sector  in 2020, status of Indian Seed Market at Global Level, Issues related to Seed Quality and Seed bill, on the current challenges  that the Indian  seed industry is facing, the role of IPR status, views of Biodiversity and NSAI’s future plans and policies for the betterment of the Indian Seed Industry. Excerpts

1. How is NSAI renewing its commitment to Seed Sector 2020?

NSAI renews its commitment by procuring and supplying high quality seeds and planting materials which will benefit farmers and significantly contribute to the sustainable growth of Indian Agriculture. Along with that we will also be renewing our commitmment towards globalizing the seed industry, harmonization of regulatory environment, promoting export of seed and investment in seed industry.

2. What are the current challenges that the agriculture sector in general and seed sector in specific is facing?

Agriculture Sector is in a critical stage as land available for farming is shrinking.There needs to be an increase in vertical production.The Inputs play a major role and 10-15 % production also depends on quality seeds.The Fertilizers,Pesticides,Water are to be used very optimally. IPM measures to be followed as it discourages the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that minimize risks to human health and the environment. IPM emphasizes the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms.

3. What are the issues related to Seed quality and Seed Bill?

We urge all members of our Association to provide Quality seeds to the farmers. NSAI have requested all Members of our association to test the seeds before marketing and also make sure the Minimum Seed Certification standards are met and seeds are properly labelled. Regarding Seed Bill we assure that we have been voicing on enhanced farmer rights on seeds and enlisting the services of private firms for evaluating new varieties before seed registration.

4.What is the role of IPR status in seed sector and rules of Plant Variety Protection act?

 IPR status will be implemented to simulate investments in Research and Development of new plant varieties. The rights of researchers to use the seed / planting material of protected varieties for bonafide research and breeding of new plant varieties will be ensured. The right of farmers to save, use, exchange, share or sell farm produce of all varieties will be protected.

5.What is NSAI’s views on Biodiversity Act and ITPGR FA?

Biodiversity act is very important.We think that Agro biodiversity should have some exceptions for seed purpose. Traditional Breeding should be properly defined so that the Research and Development based industry should have a an exception.Normally traded commodity should cover the seed also so that there will be unhampered seed business.

6. What is NSAI’s plan and policies for the betterment of the Indian Seed Industry?

NSAI has developed a yearlong calendar of its activities. Scientific Seminars, Interactive Meetings, Brain Storming Sessions/ Roundtables, Conferences and Awareness sessions to farmers will be conducted all throughout the year. This year in the month of February we are conducting the Indian Seed Congress 2020 at JW Marriot, New Delhi. This is a Mega event of the South East Asia. The congress will be attended by National and International Experts and Seed companies from all over the World. Farmers as well as Seed traders should see it as a big opportunity for enhancing the seed trade. There would be technical sessions for developing the quality of seed. Policy makers of this sector will also be participating and guiding the stakeholders of this Industry.

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