5th February, 2019, Imphal
A National Seminar on “Strengthening of Seed Systems in the North Eastern and Unreached Regions - Problems, Prospects and Policies” at Imphal (Manipur) was organized at Imphal from 3rd to 5th February - 2019.
In his inaugural address, the Chief Guest, Shri Y. Joykumar Singh, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Manipur accentuated the need for producing the agri-produce varieties that are best suited to local climatic and weather conditions in order to make them economically viable. This requires the selection of the right kind and quality of seed including local varieties. Shri Singh also accentuated on the collective efforts by state, ICAR Centre and CAU, Imphal to strengthen the Seed Certification and Tests.
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General, ICAR and Secretary DARE stated that the good quality seeds accounts for 20 to 25 % increase in productivity. North eastern region lagged behind in terms of producing the quality seeds. He also mentioned that there is a need for the state for moving ahead to convert breeder seeds into foundation and certified seed at farmers’ level that will help in reducing the difficulty and challenges of long distance transportation of seed.
The Guest of Honour, Shri Ashwani Kumar, Joint Secretary (Seeds), Department of Agriculture, Corporation and Farmers’ Welfare urged the Central Government, ICAR, CAU and state departments to work together in order to solve the problem of timely availability of quality seed in North East region. He urged the State governments to come forward for indenting the seed in time. Shri Kumar emphasized on establishing the Seed Certification Agencies for solving the seed quality issues in all the states of the North Eastern region. He also urged to adopt the Seed Village Programme for providing the support to the farmers involved in seed production.
The Special Guest, Padma Shri Dr. R.S. Paroda, Chairman TAAS urged for the need to have strategy and road map for seed development and a strong Public Private Partnership mode for the North East region. He stressed for the need to open a Centre of Excellence in the region.
Prof. M. Premjit Singh, Vice Chancellor, CAU, Imphal urged on having seed replacement with high yielding varieties for fulfilling the food grains requirement of the region is the demand of the hour. He said that ICAR, Manipur Centre and CAU Imphal have been collectively involved in participatory seed production process in the region by directly involving the farmers.
Dr. R.S. Paroda, Chairman TAAS was also conferred with Ch. Amir Singh Memorial Award along with a Citation and Cash Prize of Rupees One Lakh during the occasion.
The various aspects, challenges and the way forward to strengthen the seed system in North Eastern and Unreached Regions were also discussed during the occasion.
In his valedictory address, the Chief Guest, Shri V. Hangkhanlian mentioned about the shortfall in food grains production in the state. He urged to make efforts in popularizing the improved high yielding varieties and disseminate the proven technologies to the farmers’ field.
The President of the valedictory function, Prof. M. Premjit Singh, Vice Chancellor, CAU, Imphal applauded the organization of the seminar. He stated that the strength of North East to develop the seed system is the vast biodiversity of crops and plants.
Dr. J.K Sharma, Vice President, Indian Society of Seed Technology shared his concerns on the weak seed system in the North Eastern Region. He urged for the need of collective working of all stakeholders including ICAR, CAU, State govt and line department for developing and strengthening the seed system in the region.
The conference concluded with the decision to incorporate a policy paper and road map under the aegis of the Indian Society of Seed Technology, New Delhi for finding a sustainable system of seed production, quality control and supply with marketing in the region.
(Source: ICAR-Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Manipur)