Symposium on seed health

Staff Correspondent

It addresses seed-borne diseases and challenges in sector

Ranebennur area has become the hub of

seed producers

The symposium will help shape policy issues related to seed health in Asia and Africa

MYSORE: Bhushan L. Jalali, former director and chairman, ICAR-BSMA National Committee on Plant Protection, Haryana Agricultural University, on Tuesday described the concept of the “Seed Health Triangle”. He said the Asian Seed Health Centre, Department of Studies in Applied Botany and Biotechnology; the Danish Seed Health Centre, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and the African Seed Health Centre, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania; are part of the triangle. Its aim is to keep pace with the emerging national and international trends and focus on training seed health technologists.

“These centres have become the regional seed health training centres for Asia and Africa. It is a perfect synergy to enhance the qualitative dimension of trainings in seed technology,” he said.

Prof. Jalali was speaking after inaugurating the second international symposium on “Seed health in Agricultural Development”, organised by the Department of Studies in Applied Botany and Bio-technology (DAB), University of Mysore, here. The three themes of the symposium are “Technology transfer for farmers”, “Newly emerging diseases of seed-borne nature” and “Molecular diagnosis of seed-borne diseases”.

Prof. Jalali said the area of intellectual; Property Rights (IPR) in agriculture should be addressed in conjunction with traditional rights and indigenous knowledge.

Crop loss

He said seed-borne diseases cause massive crop losses and it was high time to launch systematic and scientific approaches for such loss using techniques of precision. Seed health in the emerging global scenario has become very significant, he added.

In his address, acting Vice-Chancellor T.C. Shivashankara Murthy said India has emerged as an important global player in the seed sector because of its strategic location, varied agro-climatic conditions and cheaper input costs. Most of the multi-national seed companies are located in Bangalore and Hyderabad. In Karnataka, Ranebennur area has become the hub of seed producers.

“It is high time we kept pace with the challenges ahead. We have to build strong quality consciousness and confidence among the farming community. There should be a shift from profit-oriented motive to service-oriented motive,” he added.

Registrar B.J. Hosamath, Department of Studies in Applied Botany and Biotechnology, Chairman S.R. Niranjana and faculty members were present.

The DAB has a long-term cooperation with Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and had established the seed health training centre for the Asian region.

The DANIDA support has helped in establishing excellent infrastructural facilities for research and training in seed health, according to the DAB.

The deliberations and recommendations that emerge from the symposium would help in making policy issues related to seed health, with emphasis on Asian and African countries.