Understanding the World of Seeds (with NSAI)

Imaran Khan

Interviewed by : Imran Khan

NSAI is the apex body of the Indian Seed Industry. The vision of NSAI is to create “A dynamic, innovative, internationally competitive, research based industry producing high performance, high-quality seeds and planting materials which would benefit farmers and significantly contribute to the sustainable growth of Indian Agriculture. NSAI is continuously working for voicing issues of prime concern of the Seed Industry & Policy makers of the country.

NSAI works towards globalizing the seed industry, harmonization of regulatory environment, promoting export of seed and investment in seed industry.

Apart from the above, NSAI is engaged in promoting international collaborations with stakeholders and industries. NSAI also does a lot of knowledge and skill enhancement of Human resources through training & capacity building of agri-entrepreneurship, training & capacity building of Government Officials and Collaborative trainings with various institutes, organizations & universities. NSAI actively engages with all stakeholders for taking up issues of National interest pertaining to Indian Seed Industry. 

 Q.1 What is the current situation of Indian Seed industry?

The Indian Seed Industry is doing well. In fact, the present Government is very serious about the Agriculture sector.The Indian Seed industry is quite serious about upholding the Quality standards at all the point of time.


Q.2 Government will declare the budget in February so according to you what should be in budget for agriculture industry?

We hope the Government announces concrete steps to boost Seed Exports from India and also announce packages for promotion of Seed Sector in terms of setting up of new enterprises and seed centres for making quality seeds available to farmers at affordable rates. There has to be an organised micro and macro setup to ensure our farmers receive the best quality seeds.

Q.3 What is the Progress in new seed Act, is there any comment on this?

Matter is pending. We appeal to Government to take concrete steps in this regard.

Q.4 How is the Seed industry growth in last few years?

The growth of Seed Industry has been appreciable over the past few years. The Indian Seed Industry, at present, is estimated to be doing annual turnover of about Rs. 20,000 Crores vis-à-vis the global seed business estimated to be at Rs. 3 Lakh Crores and is growing at a CAGR of 12%, which is an encouraging sign.

Q.5 What are the Key Regulatory bodies Involved in seed import and export?

DGFT, APEDA & DPPQ are the main regulatory bodies involved in Seed Import & Export. 

DGFT is responsible for implementing the Foreign Trade Policy with the main objective of promoting India’s exports. DGFT plays a very important role in the development of trading relations with various other nations and thus help in improving not only the economic growth but also provides a certain impetus needed in the trade industry.

DGFT issues Export license to the seed exporter based on the recommendation made by the DAC. Also, DGFT is responsible for allowing list of seed/planting materials that can be exported or imported based on the recommendations made by DAC.


The mandate of Plant Quarantine Service within the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage is to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of exotic pests in India as per the provisions of The Destructive Insects & Pests Act, 1914 and the notifications issued there under. Every exporter has to register and file an application with concerned Plant quarantine station at the designated port through which he intends to export.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act 1985. APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the following scheduled products. Vegetable seed products are one of the scheduled under the mandate of APEDA.

 Development of industries relating to the vegetable seeds for export by way of providing financial assistance or otherwise for undertaking surveys and feasibility studies, participation in enquiry capital through joint ventures and other reliefs and subsidy schemes;

 Registration of persons as exporters of the vegetable seeds;

 Fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports;

 Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughter houses, processing plants, storage premises, conveyances or other places where such products are kept or handled for the purpose of ensuring the quality of such products;

 Improving of packaging of the vegetable seeds;

 Improving of marketing of the vegetable seeds outside India;

 Promotion of export oriented production and development of the vegetable seeds;

 Collection of statistics from the owners of factories or establishments engaged in theproduction, processing, packaging, marketing or export of the vegetable seeds or from suchother persons as may be prescribed on any matter relating to the vegetable seeds andpublication of the statistics so collected or of any portions thereof or extracts therefrom.


Q.6 Is there any comment on GMO? Indian Farmers Community really need it ?

NSAI is pro technology organization, however we strongly believe that any technology should come through proper channel and procedure. We believe that our farmers should have adequate awareness about the technology they are using.There should be no harm to biosafety norms. India’s Biodiversity cannot be compromised at any cost. Science and Technology should strengthen local ecosystems without causing harm to what exits.

Q.7 Is there any need for more investment in R&D and infrastructure in growth of Indian Seed Industry?

Definitely, I feel there is an urgent need to promote more investment in R & D and infrastructure. With the challenge of climate change staring at our face the role of seed becomes more critical. R&D in Seed Sector is the only way we can live up to the expectation of farmers. The stress should be on tailor made seeds to meet the uncertain challenges which are thrown at the farmers by ever changing climate and monsoons.

Q.8 What will be the agenda and objectives of Indian Seed Congress 2018?

The Indian Seed Congress, the annual forum organized by NSAI, has emerged as a much-awaited event to project the latest trends and views of the Seed Industry sector; voice their concerns; deliberate on the new technological advances and the barriers to technology development and introduction; showcase new product ranges and services and network for better business development. The Indian Seed Congress provides a platform for the Seed Industry to interact closely with technology developers, sector development officials and policy makers.

This time the agenda of Indian Seed Congress is centered around ‘Seeds Beyond Boundaries’ for securing the life and livelihood of Farmers across world; seeds which would guarantee high productivity and greater returns to the farmer.

As a part of World Seed Industry, the Indian Seed Industry is readier than ever to play a constructive and productive role for bringing Seed Community closer across the world. The need of the hour is to give Seed its rightful place as true ambassador of life beyond boundaries.

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