Success Story

National Seeds Corporation Limited: A Glorious Journey since 1963

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia
cereals

Seed is one of the most important input in agriculture. The use of quality seed alone can increase the productivity by 15 to 20%. Increase in agricultural production and productivity depends, to a large extent, on the development of new and improved varieties of seeds and efficient system of their delivery at affordable prices to the farmers. National Seed Corporation (NSC) is the main government body which pioneered and work for the development of Indian seed industry. Let's know about this important organization which has been working for Indian seed industry since 1963.

How NSC has started?

National Seed Corporation (NSC) was established in March 1963 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Corporation, Government of India and started functioning from July 1963. The first batch of seeds produced was about 300 qtls of maize foundation seed. NSC became the harbinger of the Green Revolution with multiplication and distribution of Taichung native – 1 paddy seeds to cover 1 Lakh acre area and further import of 18 thousand tonnes of dwarf Mexican wheat seeds ( 1966-67) with technical inputs from international maize and wheat improvement centre (CIMMYT), Mexico. 

How do NSC work?

NSC has played a pivotal role in the development of Indian Seed Industry since its inception in 1963. NSC has been able to meet the demand of the farmers for quality seeds of different crops and varieties that are grown in diverse agro-climatic conditions.

NSC had made immense contribution towards meeting the national requirement of quality seedsand also played a key role as the pioneer and premier seed production and supply institution in the country. Since its inception the corporation has aggressively participated in various programs like Green Revolution, Implementation of national seed program, National Food Security Mission ( NFSM), Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India ( BGREI ), IntegratedScheme for Oil Seed , Pulses, Oilpalm, and Maize (ISOPOM) etc.

The corporation has rendered distinguished service to the agriculture sector and has achieved the status of Schedule B Mini Ratna Company.  Amalgation of SFCI with NSC was taken place during the year 2014 with the aim to produce breeder and foundation seeds at its own large size mechanised farms for making available quality planting material  to the farmers for production of high quality certified seed at their fields.NSC is involved in production processing and marketing of quality seeds/planting materials and other inputs. 

There are 11 Regional Offices – Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Pune & Secunderabad, 8 Farms – Suratgarh, Sardargarh&Jetsar in Rajasthan State, Hisar (Haryana), Raichur (Karnatka), Baliyapur (Jharkhand), Nalhati (West Bengal) &Sukinda (Orisa) consisting of 22182 Ha. land, 3 Vegetable Seed Packing Centers – Secunderabad, Agra and Raichur farm, 107 Marketing Centres, 30 Seed Production Centre and 48 Area Offices/Sub units of the corporation spread all over the country thus representing Pan India presence. Apart from above there are 4 Quality Control Laboratories one each at New Delhi, Secunderabad, Bhopal &Suratgarh to undertake seed testing to check the quality of seeds. One DNA & FP Laboratory also established in NSC New Delhi & 6 GOT farms also established at different farms of NSC for GOT test of seeds.

NSC plays a key role in the implementation of various schemes of the Govt. of India like “National Food Security Mission” NFSM-Pulses, NFSM- Oilseeds &Oilpalm and NFSM-Commercial Seeds and “Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH). An active role is also being played in the implementation of the “seed village scheme”. According to the scheme, NSC distributes seeds at concessional rates to farmers. In addition to this, under the NFSM, NSC distributes the minikits of seeds of new crop varieties in different districts across the country. It also provides technical support to the seed producing agencies including State Seed Corporations by imparting training of personnel engaged in the production of seeds in that organization. NSC is the nodal agency for the implementation of the Central Sector Scheme to create infrastructure facilities for establishment of processing plants and storage godowns in different states in the private sectors. NSC also takes care  to meet the demand for quality seeds of the farmers in the interior part of the country like North Eastern States & other hilly regions where no other seed producers are interested  to make sure the availability of seeds. NSC also involves in exports of seeds across the world especially in SAARC and African countries. The SAARC seed bank maintained by NSC with the grant in aid of the Govt. of India holds larger qty. of seeds of different crops/varieties that are meant to meet the demand that arises during natural calamities like flood, drought etc.  

With the launching of the National Seed Project (NSP) in 1974, NSC was assigned the lead role to develop the seed industry in the country on sound lines. NSC has also contributed in the establishment of various State Seed Corporations under the NSP during seventies. 

In India almost 58% of population depends on agriculture directly or indirectly due to increase in the population as well as growth in per capita income in the country and change in food habits the demand for almost all the food items has increased substantially. However, the acreage under cultivation has remained almost the same for the last several decades. Although the productivity has increased significantly during this period, but it is still lower in comparison to worlds average yields in many crops. One of the technologies to improve the crop productivity is the quality seeds. NSC being the leader in the seed sector has therefore a challenge in task to fulfil the quality seed of diverse crop varieties in the country.  

Main activity of NSC is quality seed production as per the Indian Minimum Seed Certification standards 2013 and making of seed available to the farmers at reasonable rates for increasing the production and productivity of the crops as well as income for improving livelihood and prosperity. 

Key points of activities in NSC:

NSC is producing Test Stock, Breeder, Foundation, Certified & Truthful level seeds of various crops in different regions of the country. The Test Stock seed production of new varieties, identified in the annual work shop of ICAR, is done at NSC farms  The Breeder seed production of different varieties & crops is also done at NSC farms as per the allocation received from ICAR Institutes.  

The Foundation seed production is mostly done at the farms with the aim to maintain higher level purity in the seed and making available quality planting material for certified seed production at seed growers’ fields as well as at farms.

In the product basket NSC has 80 crops and near about 627 varieties in seed production and marketing for providing quality seed to the farmers upto the last mile connectivity  

Out of total seed production , 20%  production is of less than 5 years age old varieties and 61% of production less than 10 years age old varieties.

More focus on oilseeds and pulses seeds production to reduce import. In the total seed production , the share of oilseeds & pulses seeds is 46.36 % . About 2 lakhs qtls seed is produced at own farms  

Emphasis is being given for increasing seed production of nutri-cereal crops & bio-fortified varieties of various crops to ensure nutritional security.

Increasing seed production of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance varieties to reduce adverse climatic effect on the production and productivity of crops and sustainability.

Increasing the seed production of fodder crops and green manure (dhaincha). Emphasis is being given for berseem seed production to reduce import and save foreign exchange  

Paddy Hybrid Seed Production under MoU with M/S SL-Agritech Philippines  

Maize , Bajra and vegetable Hybrid Seed Production in suitable agro climatic zones  

Tie up arrangement with different states / ICAR institutes /companies for seed production as per the need  

NSC has its own well defined procurement policy for procurement of produced seeds from the seed growers 

Fruit crops orchard and nursery are established at Suratgarh, Sardargarh, Jetsar& Hisar farm in an area of 225  hectares  

Saplings of fruit crops, forestry, medicinal plants, flowers etc. are produced in well established nurseries at the farm.

Establishment of tissue culture laboratory with the capacity of 10 Lakhs numbers plantlets at Bhubhneswar in Odisha during the year of  2018-19 or propagation of virus free Banana plantlets and supply to the farmers.

Diversification of seeds production by increasing low volume high value seed production like hybrids, vegetables, oil seeds and pulses.

Inclusion of newly realized varieties every year in the seed production chain to promote the varieties among farmers for increasing production and productivity 

Maintaining a scientific and sustainable seed multiplication chain.

Focusing on increasing the Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) and Varietal Replacement Rate (VRR).  

Seed coating with biologicals and nano nutrients to improve seed quality, productivity and reduction of fertilizers cost.

pulses

Testing of seeds to ensure that they comply with the set standard viz IMSS 2013and also ensuring the health and vigour of seeds.

Conducting GOT for ensuring the genetic purity of the seeds. Graduating to DNA testing for high value seeds. 

Maintaining a constant vigil over field level monitory of production program ta critical stages defined for self-pollinated , cross-pollinated and hybrid crop seed production.

In the diversification front NSC has commenced Fish Seed Production at its farms Suratgarh (Rajasthan) & Raichur (Karnataka) farms during the year of 2017-18.

Establishment of Fodder Block Unit at Raichur Farm to utilize the residues of crops like paddy straw, maize stock etc. to produce fodder blocks enriched with nutrients for the purpose of feeding cattle . This production facility also promotes environment friendly initiatives of Government of India through uses of crop residue and thus prevents pollution.  

Creation of infrastructure like installation of micro irrigation system – centre pivot system (1768 ha), sprinkler irrigation ( 506 ha),  and drip irrigation ( 20 ha), development of water storage tanks, waste land development for better seed production and productivity at the farms 

Installation of new seed processing plants and seed coating machines at Farms and Area Offices for improving the quality of seeds to compete in the seed market 

Introduction of new seed production system at the farms considering constraints of availability of manpower for agricultural operation/activities i.e seed production on production share basis through farmers to improve the production and productivity as well as profitability 

NSC also provides technical support to the seed producing agencies including state seed corporations by imparting training of personal engaged in the production of seed in that organization 

Supply of seed to the farmers through sale counters, dealer network and state government departments, cooperative societies all over India.

There are 2675 numbers dealers in the NSC all over India  

Recently NSC has signed an MoU with Ministry of Agriculture and farmers welfare for import of planting material of fruit crops for further multiplication and supply to the farmers to increase high quality fruit production in the country.  

Welfare activities: NSC is having 1441 numbers employees. A various schemes are introduced in the NSC for the welfare of the employees to boost up their moral. 

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