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Broad Principles on which Seed Certification Agencies should be established

Seeds Act, 1966 provides for the establishment of Seed Certification Agencies in each State on the following broad principles

Seed Certification agency should be an autonomous body

Seed Certification Agency should not involve itself in the production and marketing of seeds

The Seed Certification Standards and procedures adapted by seed certification agency should be uniform, throughout the country

Seed Certification Agency should have close linkage with the technical and other related institutions

Its long-term objective should be to operate on no-profit no-loss basis

Adequate staff trained in seed certification should be maintained by the Certification Agency

It should have provision for creating adequate facilities for ensuring timely and through inspections

It should serve the interests of seed producers and farmers/users

Control measures for seed certification

Seed certification consists of the following control measures

Administrative check

An Administrative check on the origin of the propagating material is important

Source seed verification is the first step in Seed Certification Program

Unless the seed is from approved source and of designated class, the certification agency will not accept the seed field for certification, thereby ensuring the use of high quality true to type seed for sowing of seed crops

Field Inspection

Evaluation of the growing crop in the field for varietal purity, isolation of seed crop is to prevent out-cross, physical admixtures, disease dissemination and also ensure crop condition as regards to the spread of designated diseases and the presence of objectionable weed plants etc

Sample inspection

Assessing the planting value of the seeds by laboratory tests

Certification agency draws representative samples from the seeds produced under certification programme and subjects them to germination and other purity tests required for conforming to varietal purity

Bulk Inspection

Under certification programme provision has been made for bulk inspection

Hence, the evaluation of the lot for the purpose of checking homogeneity of the bulk seed produced as compared with the standard sample is carried out

This gives an idea about the genuinity of lot and sample

Control plot testing

Here the samples drawn from the source and final seed produced are grown side by side along with the standard samples of the variety in question

By comparison it can be determined whether the varietal purity and health of the produced seed are equal to the results based on field inspection

Grow-out test

Evaluation of the seeds for their genuineness to species or varieties or seed borne infection

Here the samples drawn from the lots are grown in the field along with the standard checks

Growing plants are observed for the varietal purity

Grow-out test helps in the elimination of the sub-standard seed lots

Phases of Seed Certification

Seed Certification is carried out in six broad phases

Verification of seed source, class and other requirements of the seed used for raising the seed crop

Receipt and scrutiny of application

Inspection of the seed crop in the field to verify its conformity to the prescribed field standards

Supervision at post-harvest stages including processing and packing

Drawing of samples and arranging for analysis to verify conformity to the seed standards

Grant of certificate, issue of certification tags, labelling, sealing etc

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