Telangana wants to make a mark in global seed arena

Over 400 seed experts, scientists from 80 countries likely to take part in ISTA meet

More than the pride involved in hosting the triennial International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) congress here from June 26 for the first time in Asia, 32nd one over all, Telangana is taking the event as an opportunity to earn reputation as an emerging hub in the global seed arena and also to leap up seed exports. The eight-day congress would have the main event for three days and technical committee meetings/sessions would be held over the next five days. Efforts for hosting the congress started in 2016 itself after identifying the opportunities in seed exports based on the strong foundation the State already has in quality seed production.

“As it is, Telangana is a major hub of seed production in the country meeting about 60% of the country’s needs in major crops such as rice, maize, soyabean, pearl millet, sorghum and cotton. About 400 seed companies are operating in the State with 413 seed processing and 13 seed testing units”, Agriculture Production Commissioner C. Parthasarathi said adding that about 2.5 lakh farmers in 1,500 villages were engaged in seed production in 3 lakh acres. They were producing about 65,000 tonnes seed of various crops.

With a view to exporting seed, particularly under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Telangana government has started seed certification for the purpose from Kharif 2016 with Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority (TSSOCA) as the nodal agency.

“Although India became a member of OECD in 2007-08, the potential to export seed was not explored until Telangana did so in 2016”, former Agriculture Secretary S.K. Pattanayak said adding that Telangana had set an example for other States.

Efforts of Telangana in the seed sector were recognised further when Director of TSSOCA was appointed as the nodal officer to pursue European Equivalence membership to India by the Union Agriculture Ministry in 2017 to explore the seed export opportunities to the European countries. “Establishing a state-of-the-art seed testing laboratory is also under completion to give further boost to seed certification and exports from Telangana”, TSSCOA Director K. Keshavulu told The Hindu.

In the main event of ISTA congress from June 26 to 28, seed experts, scientists, policy makers, researchers and members of public and private seed industry from over 80 countries will deliberate on seed policies, production and quality aspects. On the sidelines of the congress, international seed exhibition is also being organised and a seed farmers meeting will be held on June 27.

From June 29 to July 3, technical committee meetings/sessions including a seminar on DNA technologies for varietal identification will be held.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 11:04:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/telangana-wants-to-make-a-mark-in-global-seed-arena/article28139311.ece

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