The Union government has decided to set up a national seed reserve to ensure that there is no shortage of seeds for sowing in any part of the country.
Announcing this at the inaugural session of a two-day national seed congress being organised by the National Seed Association of India in Bangalore on Friday, Secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry Nanda Kumar said the proposed reserve would act as a buffer stock to take care of farmers’ sowing requirements.
Later, he told presspersons that the national seed reserve would be in place within a year. This will be a collaborative effort between the National Seed Corporation and the seed agencies of the State governments.
To begin with, the proposed seed reserve would have five to 10 varieties of crops, including a few pulses and oil seeds.
However, vegetables would not be part of the above reserve.
“The cost of the seed reserve will be borne by the government,” he said, and remarked that the aim is to ensure that farmers in any corner of the country do not leave their farmlands fallow for want of seeds.
Earlier, addressing the seed congress, Mr. Nanda Kumar called upon seed companies to sell the entire package — information on the weather, farm inputs, among other data — to farmers along with seeds.
Speaking on the occasion, Karnataka Home Minister V.S. Acharya said Karnataka was among the top five States which were known for quality seed production.
Cultivation of seeds of different crop varieties for export purpose was being taken up in about 10,000 acres of land in north Karnataka alone.