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Amit Shah Inaugurates BBSSL's National Symposium on Production of Improved and Traditional Seed through Cooperative Sector

Bharatiya Beej Sahakari Samiti Limited (BBSSL), jointly promoted by three major cooperative societies and two government statutory bodies, is poised to play a pivotal role in India's agricultural future, serving as a catalyst for positive change and growth in the sector.

Shivam Dwivedi
Amit Shah Inaugurates BBSSL's National Symposium on Production of Improved and Traditional Seed through Cooperative Sector (Photo Source: PIB)
Amit Shah Inaugurates BBSSL's National Symposium on Production of Improved and Traditional Seed through Cooperative Sector (Photo Source: PIB)

Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, took center stage at the ‘National Symposium on Production of Improved and Traditional Seed through Cooperative Sector’ held in New Delhi. The event was organized by Bharatiya Beej Sahkari Samiti Limited (BBSSL) and marked a significant milestone in India's agricultural landscape.

During the symposium, Amit Shah unveiled the Logo, Website, and Brochure of BBSSL and distributed membership certificates to its members. The gathering also witnessed the presence of prominent figures, including Union Minister of State for Cooperation, BL Verma, and high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Amit Shah underscored the importance of the day as a new beginning for the cooperative movement, farmers' welfare, and food production in India. He emphasized BBSSL's pivotal role in making the country self-reliant in the realm of seed conservation, promotion, and research. Shah pointed out that many Indian farmers lack access to scientifically designed and prepared seeds, making it crucial to ensure that certified and scientifically prepared seeds are readily available to all farmers. He asserted that India's traditional seeds, cherished for their quality and nutritional value, need to be conserved and passed down to future generations.

Amit Shah recognized that Indian agricultural scientists possess the potential to produce high-yield seeds if provided with the right platform. BBSSL is poised to facilitate research and development in this domain. Shah further noted that India's share in the global seed market is currently less than one percent, and he stressed the need to set ambitious targets to increase the nation's presence in this market. He expressed confidence that, in a few years, BBSSL, initiated by the Modi government, will gain recognition worldwide and play a substantial role in supplying certified seeds to Indian farmers.

The Union Minister of Cooperation detailed the swift formation and registration of BBSSL, highlighting its commitment to connecting Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) with seed production. This connection would enable every farmer to produce certified seeds in their fields, and BBSSL would ensure the seeds reach not only the entirety of India but also the global market. Importantly, all profits generated by this cooperative society would flow directly into the bank accounts of the seed-producing farmers, in alignment with the cooperative ethos.

The primary objectives of BBSSL include maintaining high genetic and physical seed purity, ensuring consumer health, and boosting production. The focus is not just on generating profits but also on aligning India's production with the world's average production and promoting scientific seed production through farmer training.

Amit Shah emphasized the need to increase India's share in the global seed market from the current 4.5 percent and encouraged setting goals for BBSSL over the next five years. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BBSSL aims not only to achieve profit and production targets but also to conduct research and development that will boost production. Shah highlighted the extensive network of institutions connected to the seed sector in India, emphasizing that their collective mission is to ensure profits reach the farmers, certified seed production increases, and India's share in seed exports grows. The focus is on achieving a targeted seed replacement rate, and a unified roadmap has been devised for this purpose.

Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation also underscored the participation of prominent agricultural organizations like IFFCO, KRIBHCO, NAFED, NDDB, and NCDC in BBSSL, strengthening its core and ensuring access to farmers' fields. The cooperation of these institutions with a shared roadmap will lead to increased speed and the inclusion of multiple cooperative organizations, ultimately creating a world-class, modern seed production system.

BBSSL's mission encompasses the entire seed production process, from testing and certification to processing, storage, branding, labeling, packaging, and export. This comprehensive approach will ensure the quality and credibility of seeds, ultimately benefiting small farmers, women, and youth. The formation of BBSSL heralds a transformative journey for Indian agriculture, contributing to rural economic growth and bolstering self-reliance in seed production while enhancing India's share in the global seed market. It is poised to empower farmers, turning them into effective marketing managers within their communities.

Union Minister of Cooperation also highlighted the importance of conserving traditional seeds, recognizing their vast diversity. This will involve collecting, enhancing, and scientifically analyzing traditional seed varieties to create a data bank of their positive attributes. In the era of climate change, BBSSL will be well-positioned to address these challenges effectively.

Amit Shah closed his address by acknowledging the emerging global market for millets and the unique opportunity for India to dominate this market with its traditional seeds. The event marked a significant step forward in the nation's journey towards agricultural excellence, sustainability, and global prominence in seed production.

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