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FAQ Seed
Question :
What are breeder, foundation and certified seeds ?
Answer   :

Breeder seed: Breeder seed is seed or vegetative propagating material directly controlled by the originating or sponsoring plant breeder of the breeding programme or institution and/ or seed whose production is personally supervised by a qualified plant breeder and which provides the source for the initial and recurring increase of foundation seed.  Breeder seed shall be genetically so pure as to guarantee that in the subsequent generation i.e. certified foundation seed class shall confirm to the prescribed standards of genetic purity.  The other quality factors of breeder seed such as physical purity, inert matter, germination etc. shall be indicated on the label on actual basis.

Foundation seed: Foundation seed shall be the progeny of Breeder seed or be produced from foundation seed, which can be clearly traced to Breeder seed.  Thus foundation seed can even be produced from foundation seed during the production of Foundation Seed the minimum seed certification standard shall be the same for both foundation seed stage-I and II.  The certification tag shall be white colour for both foundation seed stage-I and II.  The production of foundation seed stage I and II shall be supervised and approved by the certification agency and be so handled as to maintain specific genetic identity and genetic purity and shall be required to confirm to certification standards specified for the crop / variety being certified.

Certified Seed: Certified seed shall be the progeny of foundation seed and its production shall be so handled as to maintain specific genetic identity and purity according to the standards prescribed for the crop being certified.  Certified seed may be the progeny of certified seed provided this reproduction does not exceed three generations beyond foundation seed stage-I.

Question :
What is hybrid seed?
Answer   :
The first generation resulting from crossing of two varieties or parents. Hybrid(certified) seed is the first generation resulting from the cross of two approved inbred lines or parents , one of which is male sterile.
Question :
What is  Labelled Seed?
Answer   :
The seed notified under Section 5 of the Seeds Act, 1966, such seed sold in the market has to be labelled as prescribed under Section 6(a) and (b) of the Seeds Act  Such seed is called Labelled Seed.
Question :
What is  process and procedure of certification of seeds?
Answer   :

Receipt and scrutiny of application;  
Verification of seed source, class and other requirements of the seed used for raising the seed crop;  
Field inspections to verify conformity to the prescribed field standards;
Supervision of post-harvest stages including processing and packaging;  
Seed sampling and analysis, including genetic purity test and/or seed health test, if any, in order
   to verify conformity to the prescribed standards; and  
Grant of certificate and certification tags, tagging and sealing.  

Question :
Which are the agencies authorised for certification of seeds?
Answer   :
Agencies (State Governments or Autonomous Bodies), which are notified under Section 8 of the Seeds Act are authorized for certification of seeds. At present there are 21 state Seed Certification Agencies in the country.
Question :
Which are the agencies that can produce certified seeds?
Answer   :
Anybody willing to come forward to produce certified seed can produce certified seed.  At present State Seeds Corporations, National Seeds Corporation, State Farm Corporation of India, State Departments of Agriculture, Private Companies, Cooperatives and individual farmers are producing certified seed.
Question :
what is Seed Replacement Rate?
Answer   :
Seed Replacement Rate is the percentage of area sown out of total area of crop planted in the season by using certified/quality seeds other than the farm saved seed. 
Question :
What are Genetically Modified, transgenic crop/ seed?
Answer   :
Genetically Modified seed is developed by application of biotechnology wherein a specific gene from other genus is inserted by genetic manipulation to make it resistant against certain characteristics like insect pest resistance, for example in the Bt. cotton, Cry1 AC gene has been incorporated in the cotton seed from a soil bacteria i.e. Bacillus thirugenesis which make it resistant against the attack of boll worm.
Question :
What are the areas of application of Biotechnology in Agriculture?
Answer   :

Biotechnology is a tool that has been widely accepted worldwide for improvement of cultivars with regard to : (a) Insect pest resistance (b) Tolerance to drought, cold and  salinity condition (c) Nutrition enhancement (d) Post harvest quality (e) Value addition.

Apart from the above, the Task Force appointed by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation under the Chairmanship of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan have recommended the following:

“Biotechnological applications should be viewed comprehensively.  Both r-DNA and non-r-DNA applications such as fermentation, bio-processing, bio-pesticides, bio-fertilizers, tissue-culture, micro-propagation and related technological components which are important for Indian agriculture including animal husbandry and fisheries should be viewed as integral components of the planning and promotion of biotechnological applications in agriculture.”

Question :
Is there a proposal to make a new Seeds Act and why?
Answer   :
Yes.  The Seeds Bill, 2004 has been introduced in Rajya Sabha on 9th December 2004 so as to overcome certain deficiencies of the present Seeds Act, 1966 and to take into account the changes that have happened in the seeds sector and Indian economy.
Question :
What are the penalty provisions for sale of spurious seed?
Answer   :

If any person contravenes any provisions of the Seeds Act/Rules, on conviction be punishable:

For the first offence with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, and

In the event of such person having been previously convicted of an offence under this section, with     imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one     thousand rupees, or with both.

Question :
What are the rules for export and import of seeds?
Answer   :
Export/import are governed by EXIM Policy of 2002-07 issued by Ministry of Commerce.  Under EXIM Policy, provision is made to import which governed by the New Policy on Seed Development, 1988 read with Plant Quarantine Order, 2003 and amendments made thereon. For restricted items the EXIM committee of DAC is empowered to take decision of import/export.
Question :
What is NSC?
Answer   :
The National Seeds Corporation Ltd.(NSC), a Public Sector Undertaking under the administrative control of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, was established in the year 1963 under the Companies Act, 1956 with the objective of producing and distributing Seeds of high quality to the farmers.  The Corporation undertakes the production of seeds through Contract Growers. NSC is dealing with about 560 varieties in 79 crops
Question :
Does Government of India have its own farm to produce seeds?
Answer   :
Government of India does not have its own farm for production of seed, however, State Farm Corporation of India, Government of India Undertaking operates Central State Farms in different states. SFCI was set up in 1969 under Companies Act to take quality seed production in Central State Farms. Over the passage of time keeping in view the economic viability of these farms only 6 farms have been retained and others were returned to State Governments since land was taken on lease for a prescribed period of time. 
Question :
What is Seed Bank Scheme?
Answer   :
The main objective of Establishment & Maintenance of Seed Bank Scheme is to make available quality seeds of such crops/varieties at a contingency planning due to natural calamities like droughts, floods, etc. The scheme is being implemented through NSC, SFCI and 13 State Seeds Corporations in the country.
Question :
What are the crops covered under the PPV & FR Act for the protection of crop/varieties?
Answer   :
Initially 35 crops are covered such as rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, chickpea, mungbean, urdbean, field pea, rajmash, lentil, pigeon pea, rapeseed mustard, groundnut, soybean, sunflower, safflower, castor, sesame, linseed, cotton, jute, sugarcane, lucerne, berseem, tomato, brinjal, okra, cauliflower, cabbage, potato, onion, garlic, rose and chrysanthemum.  The DUS test guidelines have been prepared for all the 35 crops.
Question :
To whom the farmers have to approach when the seed fail to perform?
Answer   :
Director of Agriculture/Joint Director of Agriculture/Seed Inspector of the areas concerned.
Question :
Is there any facility for the farmer to get the seed tested before sowing?
Answer   :
Seed users and seed producers could get the seed sample tested in the State Seed Testing Laboratories with the minimum fee prescribed  to obtain the result to be used as information for seeding, selling or labeling purposes.


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