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International Seeds Day Celebration at Krishi Jagran: Expert Views on Seed Resilience

Seed experts speak at the webinar hosted by Krishi Jagran on April 26th, 2022, at 4 PM, with the theme "Time to Conserve, Protect, and Revive Indigenous Seeds."

Binita Kumari
A clip from the webinar
A clip from the webinar

International Seeds Day is celebrated every year on April 26th, 2022, to recognize the importance of seeds. Patent-free seeds, non-GMO natural seeds, and farmer rights are all highlighted on this day. Even though the government approved seed policies in 2002 and 2019, both were never implemented owing to a lack of political will.

To truly celebrate this day, Krishi Jagran hosted a webinar on the topic- Journey to Resilience Starts with Seed, Time to Conserve, Protect & Revive Indigenous Seeds on International Seeds Day. The webinar was joined by a panel full of dignitaries who are experts in seed research and manufacturing and progressive farmers.

The webinar was attended by several dignitaries including Mr. Vijay Sardana, Advocate, Supreme Court of India & NGT, IPR, Techno –Legal & TechnoCommercial, Corporate Governance Advisor & Trainer, who moderated the webinar. While Dr. P.K Pant, Chief Operating Officer, Krishi Jagran presented the vote of thanks.

Some of the dignitaries who spoke at the webinar are:

Gajanand Patel, Progressive Farmer, Machal Madhya Pradesh

Dr. R.K Trivedi, Executive Director, National Seed Association of India

K.V Somani, President, Northern Seeds Association or Chairman & Managing Director, Somani Seedz

Dr. V.K. Gaur, Former Managing Director, National seeds Corporation Limited

Dr. Narendra Singh, Former Head, Vegetable Science, Indian Agricultural Research Institute

Dr. Arvind Nath Singh, Principal Scientist, Entomology, ICAR-Indian Institute of Seed Science, Mau

Dr. Basavarajaiah, Business Coordinator, Laxmi Inputs Pvt. Ltd

Vishal Bhatia, Business Head, Comienzo Agri Science Limited

The webinar started with Dr. Pant stressing the need to conserve conventional seeds.  The stage was then given to Dr. Alok who gave his warm wishes on International Seed Day and talked about horticulture and organic farming. He said there is still a shortage of good-quality seeds in our country. He emphasized that the quality of crops, in the end, is a direct reflection of seed selection at the beginning and so it should be done carefully.

Talking about the seed industry, he said that farmers depend on the private sector to get seeds still and that we need the public sector to distribute good quality seeds.

After Dr. Alok, Dr. Trivedi was invited to speak on the topic. He said that for the development of the seed sector, it is important that seeds with good potential and quality are available and always in the supply chain. 

He added that as climate change is emerging as a problem, the need is to use our indigenous varieties of seeds that have been conserved.

He further added that more use of hybridization and manipulation of seed will lead us to the point where we wouldn’t have an option if something happens to the crop. Hence, farmers need to use traditional seed varieties.

Up next, Dr. V K Gaur took the stage to share his thoughts. He stated the importance of seed and linked it to Hindu mythology and scriptures. He mentioned that by using the integrated approach, we can conserve seeds and significantly increase the output. He added that the need of the hour is to preserve pest and disease-resistant seed varieties. He warned that seed identification is an important issue that needs to be addressed at its earliest.

Next, Gajanand Patel (farmer) suggested the farmers use new varieties of seeds to increase yields. While advising all the farmers on the occasion of International Seed Day, Patel said that we don’t need to always depend on others for good seeds. Farmers can produce the seeds on their own and solve the issue of bad quality seeds.

Next, Kaman Somani from Somani Seedz was invited to speak in the webinar. Somani said that 85-90% of farmers of India are small and marginal so it is difficult for them to get quality seeds. He also mentioned that we need to motivate our farmers and that there is an urgent need for research and design centers for seed development. 

Dr. Narendra Singh then took the stage and said that the issues associated with seeds are well known. Now farmers need the solution. In this regard, he suggested the formation of a seed production unit as the first solution.

Dr. Basavarajaiah highlighted the need to focus more on the nutritional value of the seeds rather than the yield which will be in demand for upcoming generations. The webinar was concluded by Dr. Pant as he presented the vote of thanks to all the present guests.

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