News

Agriculture Ministry plans to establish over 7000 seed-testing labs

The Indian agriculture ministry is planning a huge increase in the number of seed-testing laboratories across the country in order to boost crop yield. Ministry officials while talking to media said that use of quality seeds can improve farm production by up to a fifth.

At present the ministry is discussing with state governments to establish 583 seed-testing laboratories in major cities and 6,600 laboratories at the block level in rural districts, officials told. They further added that sowing quality seeds leads to better germination, resistance to insect attacks and also increases crop yields by 15 to 20 percent. Presently, the country has 130 seed-testing laboratories where farmers can obtain quality analyzed for a nominal cost.

An official mentioned that “A note has been circulated to the states to get their suggestions. We expect to roll out the plan by this year.” The seed-testing laboratories will also give a push to technology development in rural India.

Director of Indian Institute of Seed Sciences, Dinesh Kumar Agarwal said, “Having quality seeds will guarantee higher genetic purity, possession of good size, shape, colour, high germination, high seedling and vigor leading to improvement in crop yield by 15 to 20 percent.”

Meanwhile, farmers said seed quality was to blame if crop yield failed to rise despite following experts’ advice on inputs like fertilizers and irrigation.

On the other hand, few people say the government needs to do little more. Chairman of Punjab State Farmers' Commission, Ajay Vir Jakhar also said, “Establishment of seed testing laboratories across India is a welcome step, but I see the crisis in human resource deployment and failure of governance.”



Share your comments