The central government on Thursday asked the seed companies to expand transparency in the certification of truthfully labeled seeds, while also promising to resolve all of their issues. Speaking at an Assocham virtual event, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala stated,’ Providing improved seeds is a priority as it is the basic need to boost productivity, then comes technology and other elements.’
He stated that there is a need to ensure that farmers receive timely, affordable, and high-quality seeds and that there can be no compromise in this area.
Farmers, according to the minister, should not suffer as a result of disagreements between the government and industry. He did, however, add that the government must ensure that the industry’s worries – whether they are smaller enterprises encountering difficulty, certification of truthfully labeled seeds, or other issues – do not have any influence on farmers.
‘Farmers are primary for us, whether in terms of proposals, recommendations, policy, or anything else that we come up with,” he said in a statement. All other stakeholders, including the government, its officials, and the industry, are secondary.’
‘The government will not ban truthfully labeled seeds,’ stated Agriculture Joint Secretary Ashwani Kumar, but he did ask the industry to bring transparency in certification.
While major corporations give certification and sell genuinely labeled seeds as their products, he claims that many small businesses obtain seeds from the market and have them certified under truthful labeling.
‘We are in conversations with the industry on provisions to increase trust in truthful labels and ensure quality testing of their seeds,’ he added.
Kumar further stated that the government plans to strengthen the seed certification agency, as well as increasing infrastructure and staff assistance, in order to reduce the cost of seed certification.
He also stated that the government intends to develop newer varieties of seeds through public-private partnerships with organizations in the pulses and oilseeds sectors in order to make India self-sufficient in these two commodities.
J V Ratnam, Senior Vice-President (Crop Protection) of Coromandel International, Gyanendra Shukla, CEO of JK Agri Genetics, and Sanjay Kumar, Director of ICAR-Indian Institute of Seed Science, were among those present at the virtual event.