Seeds: Determinants of Agriculture – UPSC IAS

In this article, You will read Determinants of Agriculture(Technological Factors): Seeds – for UPSC IAS.


  • Seeds accounts for 20 – 25% of agricultural productivity in India.
  • Seeds help in meeting county’s food and nutritional security need.
  • Seeds are a critical & basic input for enhancing agriculture production & productivity in different Agro – climatic regions.
  • The Indian seeds programme recognise to 3 kinds of generation of seeds
3 kinds of generation of seeds
requirement of seeds

Government Efforts

  • Government of India has established National Seeds Corporation (NSC) in 1963 & State Farmer Corporation of India in 1969.
  • HYV programme was launched in 1966-67 to increase production of food grain in India.
  • National Seeds Policy 2002 envisages following objectives and activities:
    • Objectives
      • Increase in production of quality seeds in which private sector expected to play a major role.
      • Genetic engineering/modification technique to develop crop varieties with a highest level of tolerance to biotic & a biotic stress.
      • Unnecessary regulation of seed production and import to be dismantled in wake of Globalization & economic liberalisation
      • Protection of interest of farmers.
    • National seeds policy 2002 led to the establishment of Indian Council of Agriculture Research which is premier organization for seeds R&D.
    • Varietal development & improved plant variety.
    • National seeds policy 2002 envisages protection of new & improved varieties of plants.
    • Right of researchers to use seed/planting material of protected varieties for bonafide research & breading of new plant varieties to be resumed.
    • Seed production – Public sector seed institution will be encouraged to enhance production of seed (40% of seed production by private sector).
    • Seed distribution & marketing – Ensuring the availability of high quality seeds their improved distribution system & efficient marketing set up.
    • Infrastructural facility Infrastructural facility has been enhanced in order to meet enhanced requirement of quality/certified seeds with creation of new infrastructure facility and strengthening existing infrastructure facilities.
    • Transgenic plant varieties – Biotech can be used to develop varieties of seeds tolerant to disease, pest and climatic stress in order to increase productivity & nutritional quality.
    • Import of seeds & planting material –This is done to provide best planting material to farmer in order to:
      • Increase productivity
      • Increase Income of farmers
      • Increase Export earning
      • Reducing effect on environment, health & bio-safety
    • Export of seeds –It envisages the long term policy to raise India’s share of global seed export from present 1% to 10% by 2020.
    • National Seed Policy 2002 also envisages to promote domestic seed industry
    • National Seed Policy 2002 strengthening the monitoring system through Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.
  • Some other Government efforts to boost seed sector:
    • Sub-mission on seed & planting material under National Mission on Agriculture Extension & technology (NMAET).
    • Production of seed banks & national seed grid.
    • Inclusion of Nation Mission on Seeds in 12th plan which envisages following:
      • Inclusion of 45 crops for quality seed production.
      • Enhancement of seed replacement rate.
      • Upgrade quality of farmed saved seeds
      • Increase production of certified quality seed
      • Establish seed reserve at regional level to meet the requirement of seeds during natural calamities.
      • Seed Village Program: A village, wherein trained group of farmers are involved in production of seeds of various crops and cater to the needs of themselves, fellow farmers of the village and farmers of neighboring villages in appropriate time and at affordable cost is called “a seed village” .
    • Objectives:
      • Increasing the seed production
      • Increasing the seed replacement rate
      • Organizing seed production in cluster (or) compact area replacing existing local varieties with new high yielding varieties
      • Self sufficiency and self reliance of the village
      • To meet the local demand, timely supply.
    • The present program of seed village scheme is having two phases:
      1. Seed production of different crops: The area which is suitable for raising a
        particular crop will be selected, and raised with single variety of a kind.
      2. Establishing seed processing unit: If the seeds are not processed and handled properly, all the past efforts in production may be lost. Thus seed processing and packaging is very important aspect in seed production.
    • Benefits
      • Seed is available at the doorsteps of farms at an appropriate time.
      • Seed availability at affordable cost even lesser than market price.
      • Increased confidence among the farmers about the quality because of known source of production.
      • Producer and consumer are mutually benefited.
      • Facilitates fast spread of new cultivars of different kinds.
    • Promotion of new technologies like transgenic crops, tissue culture, soil-less agriculture, etc.
    • Upgradation of public sector seed-producing agencies.
    • Seed banks are used to store seeds like gene banks e.g. – millennium seed banks – UK, US, Australia to conserve biodiversity, Svalbird global seed vault in Norway (to conserve vulnerable seed species).
  • Many community seed banks have been developed across the country in order to improve the accessibility of quality seeds.
  • OECD seed scheme – It envisages the use of labels & certificates for seed produced & processing for international trade.
  • Seed testing facility – India’s participation in OECD aimed to enhance its seed export capability & production.
Seed production and distribution in India
Seed production and distribution in India
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Very well summarized article on Seeds in India.
Kudos to team lotus for this wonderful achievement.

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