Certification of seeds to be made mandatory to step up farm output

  1. The Union Government is planning to mandate uniform certification of seed by amending the Seeds Act,1966.
  2. This decision was taken as more than half of all seeds sold by private companies in India are not certified by any proper testing agency.
  3. The Centre also hopes to roll out a software to barcode seeds in order to ensure transparency and traceability.The planting materials such as cuttings, grafting and tissue culture also will be brought under the ambit of the law.
  4. The new act will also aim to regulate the quality of all seeds sold in the country as well as exported and imported seeds.It will also increase penalties for non-compliance.
  5. The barcoding will bring uniformity to the process of quality regulation.It will also weed out of poor quality seeds and could increase productivity by 20 to 25%.
  6. The amendment will also hold companies accountable for the quality of the seeds they sell.The software system will be able to track seeds through the testing,certification and manufacturing process.
  7. However,private seed companies fear whether the new mechanism will assure them that data on their seeds is not shared with their competitors.