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AICRP on Seed

Director’s Message

Quality seed is a vital input in agriculture and farmers’ access to quality seed of superior varieties is key in increasing agricultural productivity and production. The role of quality seed is documented and acknowledged across farming systems and ICAR duly acknowledged this fact by the launch of milestone project viz. AICRP- NSP (Crops) during 1979-80. To operate the quality seed program, it is essential to produce a sufficient quantity of breeder seed. Similarly, to organize well-orchestrated seed production programs, research back upon various aspects of seed production technology, quality maintenance and its fine-tuning, storage, seed health care, and seed processing, etc. are vital and found to be indispensable. In order to address issues such as Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) and Varietal Replacement Rate (VRR) and to develop need-based technological interventions in seed domain, launching of network project viz. AICRP-NSP (Crops) has been a significant stride under ICAR. AICRP-NSP (Crops) under the aegis of ICAR is guiding, coordinating and promoting seed technology research and breeder seed production very systematically with an appropriate research backdrop.
Production of an adequate quantity of breeder seed is a major responsibility of the National Agricultural Research System to meet the demands of the seed industry for the production of foundation and certified seeds. To cope up with the increasing demands for breeder seed, the ICAR created Breeder Seed Production Units in almost all SAUs and crop-based ICAR institutes. At present, 41 breeder seed production centres and 24 seed technology research centres are in operation under the project.
Seed production of low-value high-volume crops is generally left to public sector agencies. For the past few decades, the project has made substantial contributions in the supply of breeder seed of new high yielding varieties, resistant/ tolerant to biotic & abiotic stress and bio-fortified varieties as per national requirements. During the last four years, the varietal mismatches in breeder seed production has come to the level of 20.0% and in the coming years, mismatches shall be brought to a level below 15.0%. Due to sustained breeder seed production in the country, there has been a continuous supply of foundation and certified seeds of improved varieties to stakeholders, which has resulted in increased seed replacement rate and contributed remarkably towards enhanced foodgrain production in the country.