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Brief History of ICAR Seed Project


Seed security is having a strong positive correlation to food security, which is quite clearly evident from increment in food grain production vis-à-vis growth in quality seed production. ICAR Seed Project – seed production in agricultural crops played its part in augmenting quality seed production, infrastructure establishment to support seed activities, seed related technology dissemination, capacity building and more importantly making seeds available at right place and time by innovative model deployment (participatory seed production and seed village programme etc).

In a bid to foster seed multiplication chain and for strengthening seed production infrastructure facilities in the country, ICAR had launched ICAR seed project “Seed Production in Agricultural Crops & Fisheries” during X five year plan with an outlay of Rs. 198.89 crores for 2005-06 & 2006-07 for field crops, horticulture and fisheries. The project has resulted in enhanced supply of seeds including planting material and fish seeds. Further, looking into the achievement of the project during X plan, the project was continued in XI plan with an outlay of Rs. 63.33 crore for field crops component alone. In XI plan, the project has ushered in significant positive impact in enhancing the quality seeds to aid seed and food security. ICAR Seed Project also facilitated in the emergence of new seed hubs in many centres and several more are in offing. With respect to infrastructure development, state of art facilities were established in cooperating centres, many centres developed core competencies and now ready to serve as model centres regarding processing, seed quality enhancement and molecular diagnostics aspects. This project has helped in human resource development, technology dissemination, model deployment and employment generation. During XII plan period, horizons of this project are widened by means of expansion of seed activities to unexplored areas (N-E states), concentration on untapped areas for seed production; capacity building and commercial orientation is accentuated upon. During XII plan period, ICAR Seed Project is further strengthened with inclusion of new dimensions viz. horticulture, fisheries, technology generation and establishment of topical seed research and quality assurance laboratory components with a motive to shape ICAR SEED PROJECT an all encompassing platform on seed across farming systems.With respect to technology development component, progression was made in themes viz.  Improving hybridization efficiency and seed set in finger millet; Development of seed quality enhancement strategies (nano particulate invigoration); Bioprospecting and seed-biopriming (isolation & characterization of potent microbes); Development of serological and molecular diagnostic kits (in cotton); Standardization of seed production technology and seed testing protocols in untapped potential crops (in Quinoa).However in current proposal (2017-18 to 2019-20), considering the need for rationalization & prioritization of activities, component viz. quality seed production in agricultural crops is only incorporated under the umbrella platform of ICAR Seed Project.

The success story of ICAR Seed Project – seed production in agricultural crops is a crown jewel of ICAR. Apart from mere production, capacity building with focus on skill intensification, technology dissemination, model deployment (Farmers’ Participatory Approach and Seed Village Programme), employment generation, commercial orientation addressing gender outlook i.e. women entrepreneurship, expansion of activities in untapped areas are significant contributions of this project. Under the sustentation of ICAR with a team of dedicated scientists and staff throughout the country, ICAR Seed project will tread us towards seed security thereby contributes its portion towards much awaited ever green revolution.