Seeds are the food for people, livestock, and birds. They are the abundance, they are the elegance, they are the emblem of the start. In broad sense seed is a medium used to grow or regenerate seed. Seed is a mature fertilized ovule filled with seed coat called seed or it is a propagating substance.
It also refers to the propagation of materials from good seedlings, tuber, bulbs, rhizome, roots, cuttings, locations, all types of grafts and the propagation of vegetative materials used for growth.
Importance of seed
- Seeds are the first determinant of future plant development. The seed is the key to success in cultivation.
- Seeds are crucial and essential inputs to increase crop yields per unit area. There is a clear reference in ancient literature to Yajurveda, "May the seed be viable, may the rains be plentiful and may the grains ripen for days and nights"
- Green revolution was only possible with the production of generally high quality seeds with other qualities, namely high germination, high vigor, high physical purity and sound health. So the green revolution is actually the seed revolution.
- Only seeds of assured quality can be expected to respond to fertilizers and other inputs in the expected manner, otherwise the seed of hope may turn into a seed of frustration.
- Among the inputs used by farmers for the cheapest input of seed. These are basic inputs and form a small part of the total cost of cultivation.
- Quality seed eventually increases the performance of the crop production factor.
Quality of seed and its importance
Quality seed is described as varietal purity with a high percentage of germination, free from disease and pest, and with a proper moisture content and weight. Quality seed ensures strong germination, rapid growth and robust development.
This dimension is converted into a good field plant stand. Poor quality seed results in unnecessary thinning or yield reduction due to overcrowding, all of which minimize profitability.
Quality seed is a vital input into crop production: it is the cheapest input into crop production and the key to progress in agriculture. Crop output depends to a large extent on the seed material used for sowing and the response of other inputs to crop production depends on the seed material used.
The seed required for growing crops is quite high, and the cost is much lower compared to other inputs. It is estimated that good quality seeds for improved varieties will lead to an increase of about 20-25% in yield. Quality seeds are critical in improving the potential yield output of the species and the variety.
It is the initial & lowest quantity of pure seed of an improved variety and generated by original breeder . While more than one variety of the same crop is to be grown for production of nucleus seed, then proper isolation distance must be maintained to retain the purity . It is genetically cent per cent pure . It requires no tag due to be conserved with so restrictions .
Breeder Seed :-
It is the progeny of nucleus seed, also maintained by original breeder along with either agricultural university or research institute. It is also cent per cent pure . It requires a golden yellow tag with length of 12cm & width of 6 cm .
It is the progeny of nucleus or breeder seed, maintain by either seed company or progressive farmer under certification of State Agricultural Department. It requires a white tag.
It is the progeny of either foundation or registered seed, produced for mass multiplication among the common farmers and approved by seed certifying agency . It requires a azure blue tag with length of 15cm & width of 7.5cm.
Truthfully label (TL) Seed:-
It is the progeny of either certified or registeredseed, supervised by farmer . It requires a opal green tag with length of 15cm & width of 10cm
It is the progeny of foundation seed raised on land of private growers selected for this purpose and its genetic identity & purity are maintained such as the certified
Steps of quality seed production
During seed production strict attention must be given to the maintenance of genetic purity and other qualities of seeds in order to exploit the full dividends sought to be obtained by introduction of new superior crop plant varieties.
Seed production must be carried out under standardized and well-organized condition. Different genetic principle are Developmental Variation, Mechanical Mixture, Mutation, Natural Crossing, Minor Genetic Variation, Selective Influence of Disease, Techniques of Plant Breeder
Agronomic Principles of Seed Production
- Selection of Suitable Agro climatic Zone
- Selection of Land
- Isolation Distance of the Seed Crop
- Preparation of the land
- Selection of the variety
- Seed :- Seed Treatments , time of Sowing / Planting , seed rate , method of sowing, depth of Sowing,rougingand Supplementary Pollination.
- Intercultural operation :- Disease – Pest Control , Nutrition of the Crop, Irrigation, Harvesting, Drying Of Seed.
- Seed Testing, Seed Testing Report , Biofortification & Biopriming Seed Testing: Sampling , Purity Test, Germination Test, Seed Viability Test and Moisture Content Test.
Crop Bio-fortification is the principle of breeding crops in order to increase their nutritional valueeg. Zn rice, Zn wheat, Iron pearl millet, QPM, Golden rice.
A legally sanctioned system to maintain quality of seeds during seed production, post-harvest operation and distribution of seeds. Seed certification is a quality assurance process.
Seeds intended for domestic and international markets is controlled and inspected by official sources in order to guarantee consistent high quality for consumers. It includes field inspection, seed quality tests and pre & post quality check. Certification is a voluntary process but labelling is compulsory.
Seed production agencies
National Seed Production Agencies :-
National Seed Corporation (NSC), DELHI, State Farm Corporation of India (SFC), Indian Councils of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), India Agriculture Research Institute (IARI)
State Seed Production Agencies :-
State Seed Certification Ltd (SSCL) and State Seed Certification (SSC)
Private Seed Companies.
A number of private seed company are also engaged in seed production , research and development activities 1969 onwards. Syngenta India Ltd , Sutton and son Calculta (WB) , Bejo Sheetal hybrid seed Jalna etc.
Thrust area of seed production in India
Promotion of seed production unit / agency for the growth and security of plant varieties, development of infrastructure, cultivation, processing and marketing of seeds, export of seeds and planting materials.Strengthening rural youth and women for seed production, certification, marketing, use of biotechnological techniques in seed production and conservation of germplasm.
Seed Replacement for self-pollinated crops, Transgenic plant varieties, Promotion of domestic seeds and Strengthening of the monitoring system.
Swarnlata Kumawat1*,Komal Shekhawat1, Anil Kumar1, Basu Devi Yadav2
1 Research Scholar, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics,
2 Research Scholar, Department of soil sciences and agricultural chemistry ,
College of agriculture, Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner, Rajasthan,