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“VEGETABLE SEED INDUSTRY” – prospect and retrospect
INTRODUCTION

India has taken a bold step towards self sufficiency in food. However,
self sufficiency in the true sense can be achieved only when each
individual in the country is assured of balanced diet. This created an
urgent need for providing health security to our population by supplying
nutrition through balanced diet. Indians are predominantly vegetarians
and depend on vegetables for bulk of their nutrients and minerals. More
recently, the role and usefulness of anti-oxidants present in vegetables
in human health has been demonstrated, adding value to this set of
crops. Vegetables cultivation has been known to stimulate development
because it is labour intensive, earns higher returns and involve extra
skills. Development in vegetable production will therefore contribute
not only to food and nutritional security but also to poverty
alleviation and income generation.

Vegetables form the most important component of a balanced diet. India


is the second largest producer of vegetables in the world next only to
China with an estimated production of about 105.0 million tonnes from an
area of 6.0 million hectares at an average yield of 16 tonnes per
hectare. India shares about 15 % of the world output of vegetables from
about 2.8 % of croppped area in the country. However our per capita
consumption is quite low. We can grow variety of vegetables all the year
round. Varied agro-climatic conditions in India make it possible to grow
a wide variety of vegetable crops all the year round in one part of the
country or another. India can claim to grow the largest number of
vegetable crops compared to any other country of the world and as many
as 61 annual and 4 perennial vegetable crops are commercially cultivated.

In the post partition period a good infrastructure for vegetable


research has been created. At present vegetable research is being
carried out at four central institutes, one National Research Centre and
26 State Agricultural Universities. The All India Coordinated Research
Programme of the Project Directoreate of Vegetable Research provides
facilities for multidisciplinary, area specific research on 23 vegetable
crops and provides a national grid for multilocation testing of
technologies developed by various institrutions. As a result research on
various aspects of major vegetable crops is being undertaken in order to
improve existing varieties and standardise production techniques.

1
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Vegetables are one of the cheapest source of nutrition and have


important role in fighting hunger in this over populated country. More
than 50 indigenous and exotic vegetables of temperate and tropical
origin are native to India. The history of domestication, adaptation and
assimilation of such a large inventory of kinds and varieties point to
their interesting link with the waves after waves of early people,
natives and even those who migrated from central Asia to make India
their home.

The history of vegetables is also a welcome reminder that India received


so much more from the world than it could possibly give back. The
excavations of pre-historic and proto- historic sites provide an
authentic historical evidence of cultivation of vegetables such as peas,
melons and beans by the people of major civilisation that flourished
along Indus River Valley, as far back as 2500 BC. The excavations at
Maheshwara and Navadatoli in Madhya Pradesh have further established
peoples’ knowledge of vegetables in vedic period (around 1200 BC).
Rigveda and Atharva Veda, written during that period, cite medicinal
properties of onions and garlic. Jain works, Budhist Sutras and Jatakas
exhorted usage of eggplant, cucumber, bottlegourd etc. for general well
being (Om Prakash, 1961).

Indian National Science Academy (1980) has brought out relevant


botanical names of plants mentioned in medical treatise like “Charaka
Samhita” dated to be around 600 BC and in the “Sasruta Samhita” of 3rd
to 4th Century AD (Ray et al., 1980). Invaders, travellers and traders
all contributed in introduction and spread of large number of vegetables
used by Indian since long time. Mughals, who invaded in 15th century and
ruled until British took over and who were gourmets of good food,
included liberal doses of onion and garlic in the recipes for flavouring
their culinary delicacies, especially the meat dishes. Colonising
traders from Portugal, France, Netherlands, Denmark and Britain brought
crops like cabbage and cauliflower, hot pepper, potato, etc. between
14th-17th centuries (Seshadri and Chatterjee, 1966).

Interestingly, the ubiquitous Tomato which claims today the largest


production came just about 200 years ago. Similarly cauliflower which
was introduced by Europeans, not only claims substantial area today but
is one crop that has undergone major genetic upheaval within a short
period- thanks to voluntary selection by local cultivators, mostly
during early part of this century itself. The evolution of a new and
distinct class: Indian Cauliflower, is a fascinating story of

2
unlocking its hidden genetic potential by people who did not know much
about the intricacies of
plant breeding (Swarup and Chatterjee, 1973).

The present prominent status of vegetables in overall nutritional


security of the country can, thus be attributed to centuries of
domestication of indigenous genetic diversity, large number of
introductions from far off lands followed by their adaptation, and more
recently, value addition through genetic advances. Today, India prides
itself as the second largest producer of vegetables in the world. It has
maintained a measured growth in production for meeting the growing
demands at home and abroad. The projections of requirements during the
early decades of next century, however, have to factor not only total
population growth (currently 1.8 percent) but also an increasing
proportion of middle class with greater nutritional and appetising
concerns. It is presumed that by 2025 India will have 1.4 billion
people, majority of whom will have relatively higher living standards.
To meet this demand, the strategists have set a growth target of 3
percent for the production and accordingly emphasised the need for
action to achieve productivity from ever diminishing land resources. The
solution lies clearly in the technology that aims at deriving best out
of the configurations of genes and environments.

Dispensation of technology through genetic package i.e. seed, is the


most cost effective strategy. Realising this, though belatedly,
government of India liberalised vegetable seed imports by announcing the
New Seed Policy, 1988. Tariff barriers were removed through an
instrument of duty free Open General Licence (OGL). Thanks to the
policy, that the farmers now have a very wide choice of planting
materials available anywhere in the world.

A global trend of growers’ shift into the fast track of hybrid


technology is clearly visible in India too. The hybrids are being
adopted for their: (a) greater productivity, (b) extended availability,
(c) better adaptability, (d) selective capability. For the seed
industry, constantly grappling with the onslaught of pirates, hybrids
provide built-in safeguards in pre-programmed parent lines. Encouraged
by these fundamentals, seed industry has started investing heavily in
hybrid research while remaining an active partner in public
institutional effort of an overall variety upgradation.

There is a necessity for continuous flow of value added planting


materials employing conventional and/ or biotechnological systems in
order to match the ever changing needs of consumers and farms. An even
greater participation and investment in biotechnological and applied
research by both public and private sector is paramount. And, a
consistent support-

3
institutional, legislative and regulatory- has to be in place if the
vast potential of the seeds, is to
be unfolded.

Seeds form the fundamental and crucial input for sustained growth in
farm production, often stimulating the use of new methods, machinery and
yield-enhancing agro-inputs. The role of the seed sector is not only to
ensure adequacy in seed quality but also to ensure varietal diversity.
Today, the Indian seed programme boasts one of the biggest seed markets
in the world, with annual sales at around US $920 million. Of this,
domestic offtake accounts for US $900 million and sales in the global
market account for the remaining US $20 million.

The New Policy on Seed Development (NPSD), established in 1988 with the
objective of augmenting productivity and output quality, stimulated
major growth in the industry as it attracted a lot of investment in seed
business from major domestic seed companies. Given the growth of the
seed sector in recent years, India has the potential to become the
foremost player in the seed export business in the developing world with
prospective markets in Asia, Africa and South America.

Public Sector - Contributions and Strengths

Like many agriculturally developed Asian nations, India has sizeable


public and private sector seed businesses. Giant public sector players
include the National Seeds Corporation (NSC), the State Farms
Corporation of India (SFCI) and the thirteen State Seed Corporations
(SSCs). NSC was the first public sector organization, established in
1963, and remained virtually the only agency for seed production for
around 13 years. Its role extended to several developmental programmes
including training, quality control and extension activities in seeds.
This was followed by the setting up of the SSCs under two consecutive
plan periods, supported by the World Bank, and these largely adopted the
role of the NSC in the Indian States. These corporations engage
principally in production and marketing of seeds of high yielding and
hybrid varieties developed by the public sector. The initial impetus to
the vegetable variety development was from public institutes. Several
high yielding varieties in many crops were released including some with
disease resistances. These institutions continue to develop and release
new varieties and hybrids. Popular varieties released by the Institutes
are produced and marketed by many small and medium sized companies.
These include Arka Anamika in okra, Arka Manik in4

watermelon, Arka Vikas in tomato, G4 in chillies, Hara Madhu in melons,


Arka Komal in beans
besides others.

The private seed companies have also been benefited as these releases
formed the base material for the start of their breeding programs. Okra
hybrids developed and sold by private companies today owe their success
to releases resistant to YVMV like Arka Anamika, Parbani Kranti and A4.
In tomato also, the private industry has successfully used the bacterial
wilt resistant lines released from public institutes like IIHR,
Bangalore to develop resistant hybrids. Many of the Institutes and
Universities have formulated rules by which the seed companies can buy
their varieties including parents of hybrids.

Biotechnology is an important growing area today with wide applications.


The tools of molecular biology can be dovetailed with conventional
breeding programmes enabling great advances in crop improvement. Many of
the public Institutes have reasonably strong programs in this area. The
objectives include marker - assisted selection (MAS), markers for use in
purity tests and transgenics. Some of the companies have state of the
art laboratories for molecular biology. Projects underway in Institutes
and private companies include introduction of Bt gene into brinjal,
tomato, cauliflower and chillies for insect resistance as well as
engineering TLCV resistance in tomato. It would be important to prove
the usefulness of the introduced gene(s) and also demonstrate biosafety
aspects. With regulatory agencies in place, testing procedures and
schedules worked out, it is expected that transgenics, when developed
with the advantages demonstrated, will find favour with the growers.
Strong linkages and joint operational projects in areas of molecular
biology with public institutes will help medium sized private seed
companies to utilize the scientific talent available in public
institutes and benefit from costs of research.

Government and Seed Industry

During the last decade Governments, both central and state, and other
related agencies have been supportive and proactive. It can be expected
that further removal of controls and restrictions, which impede growth
of the industry, will facilitate in making this sector stronger. India
is also a signatory to WTO and the barriers for seed trade have been
removed. PVP bill has been passed by the Parliament and this is expected
to generate more investments in R&D. Government Institutes provide
breeders seeds at reasonable prices. Private participation is also5

welcomed in coordinated trials conducted by ICAR. Above all, removal of


seed trade barriers in 1988 has been a milestone. This new seed policy
greatly helped import of vegetable seeds. As a further fillip to this
industry, under the industrial policy, seed production was declared as a
high priority industry in 1991.
GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION: Legislation and Policy issue

At the highest level, government policy is to reduce controls and to


make the economic system more transparent in practice however, there is
potential proliferation of legislation affecting seed sector. Given the
current climate of economic development there is an urgent need for
positive relationship between the government and the private sector. in
order to fulfill farmer's needs and GOI food production targets set for
the year 2005, the existing misapprehensions should disappear to ensure
private sector investment in infrastructural improvement and expansion
to increase quality seed production.

Presently Indian seed industry is governed by the following Acts:


- Seed Act 1966
- Seed Rules 1968
- Seed Control Order 1983
- Essential Commodities Act 1955
- Package Commodities order 1975
- Standrads of Weights and Measures Act 1976
- Consumer Protection Act 1986
- Export Regulations and Quarantine
- Plants, Fruits and Seeds (Regulation of import into India) Order 1989
- Urban Land Ceiling Act 1976
- State Acts of land acquisition/land use
- State Acts for the control/movement of crops and seeds

The policy framework hitherto has been regulatory with excessive


legislation. Above plethora of legislation covering the seed sector is
out of date and restrictive rather than progressive. The multiplicity of
Acts, rules and administrative orders have resulted in over regulation
of the nascent industry.

Private Sector - on a growth phase

Although private seed companies such as Poacha and Sutton have been
established since the pre-independence era, accelerated growth of the
private sector began only after the introduction of the new seed policy
in 1988 which ushered in a liberal business climate. Currently there are
over 200 private seed companies, together with a few multinational
companies, and these tend to focus on low volume, high value crops with
the principal effort being placed on creating hybrids for oilseeds,
maize, cotton and vegetable crops. The private sector accounts for 70%
of the market in terms of market turnover whereas the public sector has
the greater share in terms of volume sales.

During the seventies, the advantages of hybrid vegetables were


successfully demonstrated in growers' fields. In the same period, the
vegetable seed industry became more organized. Initially, hybrids in
tomato and capsicum made a mark with the growers. Since then, there has
been a spurt of activity in the Indian vegetable seed scenario with the
hybrid acreage soaring and a number of vegetable seed companies coming
into existence. In the transformation of the largely unorganized seed
sector to a more organized one, the policies of the Government of India
played a significant role. In 1988, the private sector got a huge boost
in growth with the removal of restrictions by a Government order
liberalizing seed imports through open general license and removing
tariff barriers. This move resulted in import of hybrid seeds in
cabbage, cauliflower, chillies, etc. besides large quantities of seeds
of carrot and beetroot by private seed companies. This Act also
encouraged healthy competition in local research efforts leading to
release of several hybrids by the private seed industry. Subsequently
foreign direct investments flow increased, joint ventures (JVs) were set
up and there was import of germplasm. Presently the private seed
industry comprises of the following categories: (a) Local companies
dealing predominantly with open pollinated varieties (b) Indian
companies marketing hybrids sourced from abroad (c) Indian companies
developing, producing and marketing hybrids (d) Foreign7

companies (JVs of subsidiaries) have R&D, production and marketing


outfits and (e) Foreign companies marketing their products developed
abroad. There has been an increased expenditure in R&D of companies in
general. Many of the companies spend between 3 and 6% of the turnover on
R&D.

Vegetable hybrids - Market segments & Successes

Today the hybrid vegetable seed industry in India is estimated to be $40


million. Tomato occupies nearly 20% of this, followed closely by okra
and cabbage (Table 1). Among the hybrid seeds sold, almost the entire
quantity of cabbage is imported followed by cauliflower (70%). Other
major imports include chilli pepper and capsicum hybrid seeds. These are
examples of successes in seed trade, stimulating growth of the industry.
The area under hybrids in cabbage, tomato and watermelon is estimated to
be in excess of 50% of the total area under the respective crops. In
chilli pepper and okra the area under hybrids is expanding sharply as
indicated by increased hybrids seed sales.

Today the estimated quantity of tomato hybrids seeds sold in India is 28


tonnes. India is the second largest user for hybrid tomato seeds after
USA. The market is getting more refined in terms of quality and yield
expectations and there is a clear demand for perfect hybrids. Dual
purpose and processing hybrids (determinate) account for the major
market share. The market requirements also include hybrids with
resistance to major tropical diseases like bacterial wilt and tomato
leaf curl virus (TLCV). TLVC resistant segment is getting to be
important, with rapid spread of this disease. Indeterminate hybrids are
grown in some places. The harvesting season is extended in these hybrids
and the fruits have good transport quality. Hybrids with high yields,
high acid fruits have a fairly large share of the market in south.
Besides the classes of tomato mentioned, there is a need for hybrids
with resistance to tomato spotted wilt virus in south and west, higher
levels of resistance to TLCV and cold tolerant hybrids for sowing in
October in the north.

Cabbage is a popular crop in this subcontinent and hybrids have almost


completely replaced open pollinated varieties in most areas. This
quantity of cabbage hybrid seeds sold is estimated to be as high as 40
tonnes. Preferences for size and shape vary widely between regions

and also between seasons in the same region. In West Bengal the season
begins (June/July) with KK cross type, moves to Green express type for
August sowing and in the main season, hybrids with very firm heads,
weighing two kgs and with good field holding capacity are popular. In
Maharashtra, small (1 kg) round firm heads are preferred while in
Karnataka, varieties with large semi flat (2.5 kg) heads dominate the
market. In general, resistance to black rot and diamond back moth, heat
tolerance and good field holding capacity are important requirements.

Chilli/ pepper occupies the largest area (0.6 million acres) among the
vegetable crops in India. During the last five years there has been a
rapid change to hybrids in most states, especially in the largest
chillie growing state of Andhra Pradesh. In this crop also there are
different market needs with

Hybrid Vegetable Sales and Imports


Crop
All India Sales (Tonnes) Value (US $ million) Imported Seeds (%)
Okra
500
8.16
0
Eggplant
15
1.84
0
Tomato
28
8.57
2
Chilli
15
5.5
50
Capsicum
1.0
1.02
40
Cabbage
40
6.12
100
Cauliflower 10
3.27
70
Cucumber
3
0.42
15
Melons
5.5
0.84
20
Watermelons 40
3.27
15
Gourds (total) 30
1.44
30
Total
632.2
40.45

Distinct preferences for pungency and colour. While very pungency


(>70,000 Schoville Heat Units is the requirement for use in fresh market
and as dry powder, medium pungency (30,000 SHU) is required for pickle
making and low pungency coupled with attractive deep red colour is
another preference. The grower's needs also include resistance to virus
complex and anthracnose fruit rot. Hybrids with resistance to viruses
have maintained their market share. Better export promotion strategies
in this crop will support increased growth and seed sales in this
sector. In watermelon too, a popular public bred variety like Arka Manik
has been replaced9

by hybrids. The hybrid market share in this crop is around 40 tonnes.


The market prefers early hybrids with large size (12 kg), oval to oblong
in shape, very good transportability, internal qualities of color, taste
(TSS-13%) and texture. Presently, the hybrid watermelon market is
dominated by Jubilee pattern throughout the country. Sugar Baby and
Charleston types are also grown in some areas while a small market for
icebox type (3-4 kg fruits) exists. Resistances to

Fusarium wilt and tospo virus are the major requirements for the future.

Okra is a popular Indian vegetable and is estimated that presently 500


tonnes of hybrids seeds are sold annually. Most companies vie for a
share of this market, wherein resistance to yellow vein mosaic virus
(YVMV) is mandatory. With other viruses like enation leaf curl also
showing up, it becomes important to have multiple virus resistant
hybrids. New targets may include use of male sterility and resistance
toFusarium wilt. Although melons are grown in most parts of the country,
hybrids are mostly restricted to Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan belts.
Consistent yields, good fruit and transport quality are critical traits.
Netted cantaloupe types are preferred while honeydew, sutured melon and
Galia types have some niche market. Resistance to virus complex,Fusarium
wilt, better adaptability and shipping qualities will favor wider usage
of hybrids.Good quality cauliflower curds are found almost throughout
the year, thanks to successful

varieties in early, mid and late season groups. In south and west, early
and mid season groups are dominated by hybrids. Consistency in curd
colour and quality, size and black rot tolerance are prime needs besides
suitability to extended sowing periods. Market needs for eggplant are
many, depending on fruit colour and shape. Round with purple and white
stripes (with & without spines), green long, purple long, green round
and large purple oval are major segments in this crop. In traditional
Indian vegetables like cucumber and Indian Gourds (bitter gourd, bottle
gourd and ridge gourd) also, hybrids are gaining popularity. Hybrids are
preferred because they are early, higher yielding and more uniform. In
cucumber, the Asiatic type (green to light green 15-18 cm long) is
widely grown. Although there is diversity in types of products required
in each of these crops, many of the companies are able to meet the needs
through their breeding efforts. The farmers are also willing to pay more
for hybrids seeds, especially if they have some value addition. Hybrid
acceptance in tomato, cauliflower, cabbage and watermelon has been
spectacular. Acreage under hybrid okra, chilli pepper, eggplant and
melons have shown

10
tremendous increases in the last few years. It is expected that in
cucumber and Indian gourds also
significant increase in hybrid seed volumes will be seen.
Open Pollinated Seed Market - A shift from farmer saved seeds

The open pollinated seed market in India is presently estimated to be


around $ 118 million. Local and unidentified varieties, referred to as
farmer saved seeds, even now occupy large areas. These estimates are as
high as 30 to 50% of the total area in chilli pepper, cauliflower and
eggplant, 15 to 20% of the area in tomato and okra, and above 60% of the
area in melons. In this class of seeds, cucumber ranks first among the
crops in seed sales ($ 14.34 million), followed by onion ($ 12.30
million) and okra ($ 9.85 million). Among the imported seeds sold
coriander ($ 16.33 million) and carrots ($ 15.99 million) are valued
higher than all others. French beans, cluster beans and dolichos beans
have significant seeds ales in the beans group. Cauliflower of different
maturity groups for north and east markets, radish, cucumbers and all
types of gourds have large sales. A number of superior varieties have
been developed and released by Universities / Institutes in various
states and many of the private companies and Seed Corporations produce
and market the seeds of select varieties in significant quantities.
There is sufficient room for growth in this seed sector to replace the
local seeds although there is shift to hybrids in some of the crops.

Open Pollinated Varieties - market size, value & overall seed market size
Crop
OPV
OPV
TOTAL (OP + Fis)
Qty in Tonnes Value in $ million Value in $ million
Brinjal
250
1.531
3.371
Okra
3800
9.846
18.006
Onion
2190
12.296
12.420
Chilli
403
3.701
9.201
Tomato
300
2.437
11.107
Cauliflower
400
3.930
7.200
Cabbage
100
1.186
6.772
French beans
2085
2.126
2.126
Cluster beans 1350
2.154
2.154
Bottlegourd
500
2.093
2.999
Ridgegourd
500
1.681
2.125
11
Spoongegourd 100
1.905
1.95
Beetroot
40
0.8
0.8
Dolichos bean 500
2.55
2.56
Watermelon
800
2.701
5.971
Muskmelon
300
4.286
5.126
Cucumber
1000
14.335
14.758
Pumpkin
50
0.240
0.309
Radish
800
2.43
2.43
Carrot
800
15.984
15.984
Capsicum
25
0.868
2.137
Bittergourd
300
4.300
4.757
Peas
8000
8.163
8.163
Knolkhol
70
0.429
0.429
Coriander
8000
16.327
16.327
Total
32663
118.299
159.182

Another significant achievement of the private sector in the open


pollinated seed segment has been the import and popularization of high
yielding multi-cut coriander, Kuroda, and Nantes carrot with better
colour and adaptability and beetroot of high colour and good uniformity.
Production of quality seeds in self and cross-pollinated crops,
capability to import quality seeds of carrot, beetroot and coriander and
neat packaging have helped in sustaining the growth of seed sales in
this sector. Greater use of improved varieties and reduction in use of
saved seed can be expected to result in enhanced yields and therefore
better returns for the growers.

Vegetable Seed Production

India figures among the top three vegetable seed producing countries in
Asia requiring hand pollination, others being China and Thailand. In
India, commercial seed production for export on a commercial scale was
organized during the 70s by two private companies. A number of medium
and small sized companies have begun to operate now in this venture
covering seed production in most of the solanaceous and cucurbitaceous
crops for internal market and exports. They include Namdhari Seeds,
Mahyco, Indo-American Hybrid Seeds, Golden Seeds, Tropica, Exim,
Oriental Biotech, Unicorn Biotech, etc. Custom production for export is
mainly for companies in US, Europe and Japan. Vegetable seed export
constitutes nearly 70% of total seed

12
exports. It is estimated that seeds valued at $ 63 million have been
produced and exported during
2000-01.

India is endowed with several advantages making it competitive for


production of hybrid vegetable seeds for foreign companies and meeting
international seed quality standards. Seed production areas have been
identified, developed and seed villages organized on a professional
scale. Reasons for India's success in hybrid seed production include
availability of skilled labour (pollinators and growers) at inexpensive
rates, skilled supervisors and favourable climate for production of
major crops like tomato and cucurbits over an extended production
season. Systems to import parent seeds and export of hybrid seeds are in
place. The Government has been supportive of export-oriented activities.

The state of Karnataka produces nearly 90% of the total hybrid vegetable
seeds, the major areas being located around Ranebennur in the northern
part of the State. Availability of trained labour and guaranteed returns
and incentives for quality have helped in setting up of several seed
villages. The returns can be as high as three times as that of crops for
market purpose from the same area. This has also helped in improving the
socio-economic scenario of these regions, including overall prosperity,
narrowing down of rural / urban divide and employment generation
especially for village women and youth. It is estimated that the total
employment generation is over 7,00,000 in this sector. This is one of
the most significant achievements of this agricultural activity leading
to improved per capita income and quality of life. Hard work and
diligence of the farm workers involved have helped in meeting the
international seed quality standards, which in turn has led to continued
growth of the business. New areas for production are also being added,
extending this benefit to other rural areas. India has a major advantage
in having a choice of latitudes and altitudes to select appropriate seed
production areas. Some of the progressive companies have also set up
greenhouses for successful production for difficult-to-produce crops
like capsicum. Availability of quality technical expertise, increased
production and productivity of hybrid seeds of international standards,
reduced risks and maintaining low costs have helped to make custom seed
production a viable opportunity for foreign companies in India.

13
Global Initiatives: India today has a critical mass and level of growth
that it could use not only

to cater to the growing domestic requirement but also to make a


concerted effort for global trade under provisions of GATT and WTO.
Furthermore, India is endowed with second largest area of farmland, and
the largest area of irrigated land, in the world and, with its huge
germplasm diversity, its seed industry is well placed to serve both
domestic and international markets

Through intensive research efforts 119 improved varieties in 16


vegetable crops have been released. Of these, nine are F1 hybrids, two
are synthetic cauliflower varieties and 24 varieties are resistant to
different diseases and insect pests. Some of these varieties have
already made significant impact/contribution in revolutionising the
production of vegetables in the country. Besides developing new
varieties several agro-techniques and plant protection measures against
diseases and insect pests have been standardised and recommended.
Systematic efforts are also on to achieve self sufficienty in seed
production, though the goal is quite far. Several biotic constraints
pertaining to non availability and erosion of germplasm and its
evaluation, diseases and insect pests, manpower, abiotic factors such as
limited availability of funds, physical environmental and soil factors
and seasonal problems, socio-economic factors and limitations of
infrastructure are limiting vegetable research in India. The priorities
of research in years to come have been identified as breeding for
resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, heterosis breeding, breeding
for improvement of nutritional quality and processing, seed technology
research, development of technology for growing vegetables in protected
environment, use of biotechnology, insecticidal residues and off season
vegetable production etc.

India has one of the largest agricultural research and development


system in the world. Vegetables received considerable attention and
developed around 600 improved varieties/ hybrids during the last five
decades. The share of hybrids remained inconspicuous as long the
government restricted the import of seeds which could be used as basic
material for developing improved varieties. The seed import was
liberalised in 1988 which gave tremendous boost to private seed industry.

Earlier the farmers were sceptic of costly hybrid seeds. But the
indigenously developed vegetable
hybrids by private companies gave excellent returns with the following
advantages:

High productivity boosts farmers pride.
14

Better response to costly inputs

Combination of multiple quantitative and qualitative traits

Uniformity

Increased marketable produce

Hybrids suitable for distant transportation
HYBRID TECHNOLOGY

Hybrid vegetable technology has made significant impact in most crops in


developed countries. India has not lagged behind in adopting this
technology. The estimated area under vegetable hybrids has gone up from
192,100 ha in 1993-94 to 416,013 ha in 1999-2000. Vegetable production
increased from an average of 10.5t/ha in 1991-92 to 15.2t/ha in
1999-2000 amounting to an increase of 52%. Figures on area, production
and productivity over the last decade (Fig.1) reveal that overall
production showed an upward trend while the total area showed an erratic
movement and had an increase of only 0.42%. During the corresponding
period, there had been a substantial growth in hybrid seed usage in
India and this can be directly attributed to the steep increase in total
production and productivity.

With intensive cultivation using hybrids, the average yields under open
field condition in India has been steadily increasing and the yield
difference with developed countries is getting narrower. It is not
uncommon to see growers achieving yields of 100 tonnes per hectare in
tomato, 50 tonnes/ha in watermelon, 70 tonnes/ha in eggplant and 35
tonnes/ha in chilli pepper. The advantages conferred by hybrids include
higher yields, increased harvesting period, better adaptability, better
transport quality favoring the growers and occasional disease
resistance. The consumers are benefited by better quality of hybrids, in
terms of eye appeal, keeping quality and the hidden and yet,
all-important nutritional value. Realizing the benefits that accrue in
terms of productivity and the possibility of enhanced income, hybrid
cultivation has become popular in traditional vegetable belts.

Besides having high productivity that attracts the farmers to buy the
quality seeds. The seed
companies have several direct and indirect benefits of marketing F1
hybrid vegetable varieties .

Advanced plant breeding techniques
15

Wide range of pollination systems.

Low seed rate

Built-in protection of hybrids

100% Seed Replacement

Negligible scope of degeneration
HYBRID SEED PRODUCTION AND SUPPLY:

Hybrid seed production is a high technology and cost intensive venture.


Only well organised seed companies with good scientific manpower and
well equipped research facilities can afford hybrid seed production. To
produce best quality seeds the seed companies have to select the best
suited climatic zones. And since the activity of private seed companies
is not restricted to a central facility as that of a government research
station, the private companies have out performed the public research
system. While the public sector has developed only29 F1 hybrid varieties
with less than 1% share the private sector is marketing more than 1000
hybrid varieties of 14vegetable crops.

Current and future seed Requirements

The total requirement of seed is /can be met by country especially when


there is no
restriction on imports. Distinctness of areas of crop and seed
production necessitate high
replacements and thereby an active role for the seed trade.

Table Seed rate, total requirement and availability


Crops
Seed rate
Kg/haArea(000.ha)2005-06Seed requirement
(tons)
Seed availability
(tons)
SRR (%)
Beans
50.00
260.6
13029.4
8755.8
67.2
Eggplant
0.50
533.5
266.8
169.1
63.4
Cabbage
0.50
274.0
137.0
137.0
100.0
Cauliflower
0.75
306.9
230.2
198.9
86.4
Chillies
0.50
627.3
313.6
262.5
83.7
Carrot
1.50
168.0
252.0
165.1
65.5
Cucumber
2.50
25.0
62.5
45.4
72.6
Gourds
5.00
448.1
2240.3
1646.6
73.5
Melons
2.50
182.0
454.9
405.8
89.2
16
Okra
12.50
391.2
4890.4
4518.7
92.4
Tomato
0.35
549.5
192.3
191.0
99.3
Onion
12.50
428.0
5349.7
4670.3
87.3
Peas
75.00
257.0
19274.2
10273.2
53.3
Radish
20.00
312.0
6240.0
5397.6
86.5
Others$
5.00
1150.0
5750.0
4174.5
72.6
Total
5652.4
58683.3
41011.3
Av. 79.5
$Beet, turnip and many leafy vegetables
DEVELOPMENT OF HYBRIDS
CROP
Public sector
Private sector
Imported
Tomato
3
160
90
Brinjal
8
218
12
Chilli
2
73
48
Capsicum
1
31
9
Cauliflower
1
35
45
Cabbage
-
20
95
Radish
-
5
10
Onion
1
6
6
Okra
2
32
5
Muskmelon
2
14
4
W.Melon
2
25
15
Cucumber
2
10
10
Gourds
6
80
15
29
709
364
SHARE OF HYBRIDS

Seed replacement in vegetable crops is more than 80% as compared to


measly 10% in other food crops (Table 2). It is expected to touch 100%
in another two or three years. This has happened because the farmers
grow them for immediate marketing and their produce is subjected to
competition to decide the prices. Hence the vegetable growers can not
compromise with the quality of seeds for the fear of rejection of their
produce. They buy the best seeds and frequently try the new products to
remain a successful grower. The seed companies in turn get instant
response and success if they develop new promising hybrids.

ESTIMATED SHARE OF VEGETABLE HYBRIDS


CROP
Seed replacement (%) Share of F1 seeds (%)
2001-02
2005-06
Tomato
99.3
28.0
60.0
17
Brinjal
63.4
17.8
22.0
Chilli
83.7
3.0
10.0
Capsicum
95
5.0
15.0
Cauliflower
86.4
4.0
15.0
Cabbage
100
32.0
50.0
Radish
96.5
3.0
10.0
Onion
87.3
nil
Nil
Okra
92.4
6.0
25.0
Muskmelon
71
5.0
30.0
W. Melon
89.2
6.0
40.0
Cucumber
72.6
3.0
35.0
Gourds
73.5
2.0
25.0

The impact of vegetable hybrid technology can be seen by the variety and
quality of vegetables in the market. It has attracted a large number of
marginal farmers around the cities to grow hybrid vegetables. The share
of hybrid seed is increasing at a fast pace of 8 to 10% annually in most
of the crops. Their large number has contained the prices of vegetables
due to competition and yet the farmers are finding it rewarding and a
good source of income.
MARKET SHARE OF VEGETABLE HYBRIDS
Public
3%
Private
64%
Imported
33%
18
78038
6877
630
Share of Vegetable hybrids in seed trade (in t)
Total
Available Hybrids
ONLY 10 OUT OF 25
IMPORTANTVEGETABLES
WORTH 380 CRORES
INCLUDING IMPORTED SEED
Seed Industry’s transition to Hybrid Varieties

India’s Rs five billion seed industry — the backbone of the massive
multi-billion fruit and vegetable industry — is undergoing a silent
transition to branded varieties, thanks to the fast changing food habits
and retail food industry. And at the forefront to take the advantage of
the vast potential of this untapped seed segment are the multi national
corporations (MNCs).

The impact of this is witnessed in the interior regions, where farmers


are busy gauging the possible benefits of shifting to the branded,
value-added hybrid seeds which give better prices and higher yields in
relatively shorter span of their cropping activities. The scenario is
fast changing in the seeds market, while the change is seen more in
parts of Western Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, South Rajasthan,
Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, where farmers prefer branded seeds, the
Northern and the Eastern regions are yet to shift. Little wonder,
therefore, the MNCs are busy drawing the battlelines to take advantage
of the untapped potential of the Rs five billion Indian seeds industry.
In the forefront are MNCs Syngenta, Indo American Seeds, Monsanto India,
Pioneer Seeds. The latest entrant is the USA’s Seminis, claimed to be
one of the leader in vegetable and fruits seeds brand enter in the local
some $920 million annual seeds sales market.

19

Most of the MNCs are willing to invest in technology and offer advanced
products while passing the benefits to the farmer in the form of higher
yields and the better prices. The changing pattern, in the retail food
industry, has prompted the farmers to increase seed replacement rates in
India for crops. Around 10-12 per cent of the normal seeds market has
already shifted to the hybrid seeds or valued-added seeds. While
technological advances have led the release of superior quality seeds
that offer many benefits to the farmer, the product has become so
complex that special agronomic practices must be followed to maximise
its benefit and requires that the farmers are educated about the product
requirements by qualified personnel. Such educational efforts among the
farmers would help MNCs and hybrid companies yield good rewards.
It can be observed that almost all the players in the branded seeds
industry have certain specialities in certain locations that generate
maximum sales revenues. This is because the companies have been able to
concentrate on field activities and communicate product benefits
intensively on a limited scale.

India as seed production hub

India can become a hub of seed production for South-East Asian region
and will also be able to supply African countries. The case for India
emerging as a production hub is backed by the fact that the country has
built up sufficient expertise and resources in both the private and
public domain to become a strong ally in early stage contract research
or late stage seed multiplication.

An increase in replacement ration could give depth to the industry and


it would help increase the size of seed sector and volumes in the mass
market segment. Development, higher penetration and renewed focus are
anticipated in States including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and
Orissa. Even if the Indian market reaches a point of saturation, the
neighbouring markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand
and Malaysia could become attractive destinations for export of seed for
crops, including cotton, sunflower, sorghum, pearl millet and
vegetables. Access to these markets could help sustain the growth of
Indian seed companies.

The seed sector is seen as a major driver of agriculture sector in the


country and is
expected to realise future growth due to increased seed replacement
rate, higher conversion,
20
wider use of proprietary hybrids, increased farmer awareness of new
methods and introduction of
technologically advances products that offer improved biotic and abiotic
traits.

Seed companies are currently spending around five per cent of their
turnover on research and development; the firms were expected to churn
out more products with shorter life cycles in the future. This will keep
R&D costs a high level. Companies may decide to work in alliance with
biotech companies for R&D of new products.

The private sector in the seed industry was highly fragmented with an
estimated 300 players and the top 10 companies account for 25 per cent
of the total volume. An estimated 250 companies operate as trading firms
and these generate an average turnover of Rs 5 crore annually.

The commercial seed market in the country accounts for 25 per cent of
the total market potential and the remaining 75 per cent is dominated by
vareital seeds that farmers retain from prominent food and commercial
crops. The public sector, led by National Seeds Corporation Ltd and 13
other State seed corporations, supplies high volume and low value seeds
of improved varieties of cereals, pulses and oilseeds.

This makes ensuring quality and marketing new varieties tough and
complex. But the
signs of change are all around us. New integrated trans-national players
such as Bayer, DuPont,
Monsanto, Syngenta, Advanta are shifting the dynamics of trade with new
business models that
include comprehensive variety development, seed breeding, and marketing
systems. Some have
set up independent research facilities, which enable them to develop
their own new varieties and
retain intellectual property rights.

The Indian seed industry is already a billion-dollar industry and the


eighth largest in the world. It is growing every year by 12%, and that
too when only a quarter of all farms are sown with new seeds every year.
With more farmers becoming brand and variety conscious, more parks in
our neighbourhoods and more veggies on our plates, the potential is
mind-boggling.

Private Sector - Peep into Future

The growers and consumers today have a better and wider choice of
products and this has a strong parallel with the activities and offering
from the private seed sector. R&D activities have been strengthened and
new hybrids with disease resistance and better quality have emerged from
private sector, which are rapidly gaining ground.

21

In crops like tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, chilli pepper, melon,


watermelon and okra where strong hybrids have emerged and growers have
not hesitated to pay more for value added products like disease
resistance, seed sales have grown over the years. While there appears to
be room for rapid growth in okra, chilli pepper, and cucumber, specialty
traits or incorporation of disease resistance genes will be the key for
augmenting growth of hybrid seed sales in tomato, melons, watermelons,
cauliflower, etc. Eco-friendly hybrids with biotic / a biotic stress
tolerance will have big market share and these are expected to perform
well in off-seasons also. Products with good transport quality and
better shelf life will be preferred by traders and also by consumers.
Choice of growers and consumers keep changing and is not consistent over
regions. It is important that R&D units reorient on shifting time scales
dictated by market compulsions. Super markets in cities bringing in
quality vegetables, well packed and presented provide scope for premium
quality, unique new products and convenience items (icebox watermelon)
as well as novelty items (cherry tomato, colored bell pepper, baby corn,
asparagus, lettuce, etc.). Processing industry will have specialized
needs in crops like tomato and chilli pepper.

Efforts to economize seed production costs will be important. Seed


quality and treatment will become key points for growers to make choices
and there is a need for upgrading quality control laboratories to meet
international standards. Biotechnology products will have scope if clear
advantages are demonstrated along with safety aspects to consumers.

A right blend of research activities of private and public enterprises


is prevailing. Import of cabbage, cauliflower, chilli and capsicum
hybrids besides large volumes of open pollinated varieties in carrot,
beetroot and coriander exemplifies the successful functioning of
international seed trade. Seed associations are ready to take up the
cause of the industry, to support effective and efficient seed trade
with other countries for imports. Success and continued growth in the
private sector will depend on customer needs, development of need-based
hybrids, development of efficient and appropriate technologies in
frontier areas and germplasm enhancement. The Indian vegetable seed
industry has the requisite technological skills and strength to provide
the varietal needs of the future.

22
INDIAN SEED EXPORTS AND IMPORTS -STATUS & POTENTIAL

The Indian Seed Industry was insulated from Global Industry before 1988.
There was limited exchange of germplasm lines primarily through the
Government bodies and exports were confined to the extent of limited
contract seed production. The Industry was dominated by public sector in
research as well as marketing. However, prior to economic
liberalization, the Govt. of India realized the importance of opening up
the seed sector. Accordingly, the new seed policy was announced in 1988
with the main objective of providing the best planting material
available anywhere in the world, to the Indian fanners. The policy aimed
at liberalizing seed import/ exports and encouraged entry of
multinational companies so also formation of foreign collaborations. It
also encouraged the research in Private sector, which resulted into
availability of large number of superior research products from both
public, as well as private sector in the last decade. Even though there
has been rapid growth in custom seed production for exports and also
import of vegetable seeds: we are still a minor player in the global
seed trade. If the vast opportunities are tapped aggressively and
systematically, Indian Seed Industry could emerge as a major force in
the rapidly expanding global seed trade.

GLOBAL SEED INDUSTRY AND INTERNAL COMMERCIAL MARKET

The size of the global seed market is estimated to be around 30 billion


US$ (i.e. Rs.l,50,000 Cr.). The largest commercial market is USA with
US$ 5.7 billion followed by China (US$ 3.0 billion) and Japan (US$ 2.5
billion) and India ranks lOth largest in terms of internal commercial
market which is estimated to be around US$600 million. While the markets
in developed countries particularly that of Europe and Japan are
stagnant, there has been rapid growth in the developing countries’
market on account of shift away from farm saved seed. With the advent of
high degree of value addition through biotechnology, the global market
is expected to expand to US$ 100 billion within next 10-15 years time.

EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES
The export opportunities can be classified in two major categories :

Custom Production of Vegetable Seeds (including hybrid vegetables).

Export of branded seeds.
23
Custom Production of Vegetable Seeds (including hybrid vegetables):

Hybrid vegetable seed production is highly labour intensive. As the


competition is going up, most of the major global companies are
outsourcing the seed production to the countries having labour cost
advantage viz. China, Thailand, Vietnam, Chile, India etc. Several
Indian companies have established good reputation over the past 10 years
by supplying good quality seed under contract production. We also have
experienced and ski1l.ed manpower to take up this activity on large
scale. However, our share of US$ 16 million (Rs. 80 crores) is still
insignificant (less than 5%) in the global market of around US$ 360
million. If we overcome the other bottlenecks (described in the later
part), we should be in a position to command sizeable share in this
growing market;

Export of branded Seeds:

Over the last 15-20 years, Indian Seed Industry has emerged as a vibrant
research based industry (in vegetable as well as field crops). Several
innovative superior products have been developed for widely varying
agro- climatic conditions in the Indian Agriculture. It is reported that
Indian germplasm/seeds can adapt very well in the countries falling in
the region 30(1 North and 3011 South of the equator. This would cover
markets of several developing countries from Central/South America,
Africa and Asia. Incidentally, both Africa and Asia are presently the
fastest growing markets. Indian Seed Sector with its vast germplasm base
and trained manpower would become a strong technology source for such
countries. According to one USAID sponsored study, there is a potential
to increase Indian exports from the present level of Rs.100 crores by 10
fold to, more than Rs.1000 crores within the next 10 years period.

SEED IMPORTS

Our imports of seed for commercial sale are confined to few vegetable
crops (mostly of F1 hybrid) viz. Cabbage, Cauliflower, Capsicum,
Chillies, Musk melon, Water melon, Radish and Carrot. The imports are
estimated to be around Rs.50 crores.

In these crops, the present coverage under hybrids is ranging between 2%


-30%. Thus, there is tremendous scope to increase the imports and
widening the coverage under high productivity hybrids. Imports should
not be looked down upon as most of these imported world class seed would
enable Indian farmers to become competitive in the world markets.

24
In this case also, we have to overcome lot of procedural bottlenecks
which are described in the
next part of the paper.
CONSTRAINTS

The biggest obstacle to expand our exports have been the Government
regulations and procedures that delay and obstruct the seed trade (both
import and exports) from India. The following major constraints have
been identified:

Cumbersome import-export procedures

The import/ export of seeds are governed by EXIM policy where seeds are
placed in restricted list, requiring prior permit. Further, plant health
and quarantine regulations are governed by the Plant, Fruits and Seeds
(Regulation of Import in to India) Order, 1989. Even though these
regulations are fully justified in the national interest, implementation
and interpretation of these regulations is not very practical and
productive. Some of the practical problems faced by the Industry are :


It takes more than 15 days for issuing import permit, which does not add
any value to
quarantine process.

Stock seed imports by courier are not allowed.

Quarantine clearance is taking more than 30 days.

Air freight demurrages are very high.

Delays in Issue of Phytosanitary certificate for exports. ,

The implementing authority needs to take down to earth approach to


facilitate seed import/ export. There is a need to simplify the
interpretation and implementation rather than making it complex and
bureaucratic. .

Seed Certification & Testing Standards

For international market, key word in seed markets is quality. We have


to match the seed standards of developed countries. Similarly for seed
testing, ISTA standards should be followed rigidly. We do not have ISTA
accredited laboratory in the absence of which we can not get orange
certificate which is mandatory requirement for import in many West
Asian, Middle East & African countries. Even though most of the seed
production activities are highly labour intensive, our seed production
costs are higher on account of lower productivity particularly in

25

comparison with China. In China, labour costs are low and labour is also
well disciplined leading
to high productivity .
Lack of sufficient manpower with global exposure and orientation.

Long gestation periods and heavy investments deter local Indian Seed
Players. Establishing the products in other countries would take several
years of testing, evaluation. Brand establishment is also a long drawn
process.

Seasonal advantage of other countries in Northern hemisphere. Most of


our production is
confined to Rabi Season, which is posing problems in production logistics.
RECOMMENDATIONS

A strong national will is the prime necessity to access world seed


markets. Both the Industry and the Government need to put its acts
together and overcome the various constraints/bottlenecks, hampering the
global trade.

Industry :

Diversifying seed production in different parts of country .

Bring down seed production costs by improving productivity and
disseminating
knowledge. Establishing ISTA accredited labs.

One common association to represent industry with APEDA, MoAg, MoComm, Exim
Bank etc.

Network with International associations like APSA for trials and
evaluation.

Encourage NGO’s to help target farmers establish seed production for
exports.
Government :

Special seed export promotion zones with adequate infrastructure for
drying, storage,
electricity supply at competitive rates, may be established.

Abolishing import permits.

Speedy clearance in quarantine.

Hybrid Seed of oilseeds and fodder crop should not fall in restricted list.

Ministry of Commerce through DGFT may provide single window system for
export
licences.

Establishment of Export Promotion Council. The seed export may be taken
with a
26
mission approach.

Govt. may collect information about global seed demand and pass on the
information to
Seed Industry. Market research could also be sponsored.

Central Seed Testing Lab should obtain ISTA accrediation.

OECD standards of Seed Certification be implemented.

Institute award for best exports.

Current Indian Seed Industry is as matured and vibrant as that of any


developed countries including that of United States of America. India is
now well equipped to become a major seed player in the International
Seed Trade. All that is required is committed Govt. support and
encouragement to this sector and concerted efforts in the Seed Industry
on R&D, Quality, Customer focus and Technology front. This can be
achieved by conscious efforts by both Govt. and Seed Industry in
eliminating the barriers and establishing a transparent system of work.

FUTURE PRIORITIES IN VEGETABLE SEED RESEARCH


While significant progress has already been made there are still several
problems to be
tackled. For this, the following research priorities have been identified.
1) Breeding for resistance to abiotic factors viz. diseases and
insect-pests such as:-
Tomato
leaf curl virus, TMV bacterial wilt,phytopthora blight, fruit borer.
Brinjal
fruit and shoot borer, bacterial wilt, little leaf.
Okra
yellow vein mosaic and pod borer
Chillies
virus and pest complex
Onion
purple blotch, stemphylium (moth and thrips).
Cucurbits

downy mildew, powdery, CMV, fruit fly.


Cole crops Sclerotinia, Alternaria and soft rot.
Peas

Powdery mildew
27
Beans
Septoria, mosaic virus and b
Beans
Septoria, mosaic virus and bruchus
2) Breeding for resistance to abiotic stresses eg. salinity, alkalinity,
salt tolerance and stress

environment e.g. hot set and cold set tomatoes.


3) Heterosis breeding in onion, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, cucurbits,
brinjal, and capsicum.
4) Breeding for nutritional and processing qualities in vegetables like
tomato, onion, peas and

garlic (dehydration).
5) Use of biotechnology for incorporation of resistance to
disease/pests/abiotic stresses.
6) Intensification of research on seed production of temperate, tropical
and sub-tropical

vegetables and intensification of breeders seed production programme.


7) Export oriented research on vegetables like onion, chillies, okra,
peas, tomato, brinjal,

cucumber, cauliflowr and cabbage.


8) Developing efficient cropping systems.
9) Research on growing vegetables in protected environments.
10) Research on off-season vegetable production and under exploited
vegetables.
11) Studies on insecticidal residues.

Conclusion :

India is the second largest producer of vegetables, with a total


estimated production of 105 mt from 6.8 mha and a growth rate of 3.8%.
The present annual requirement of vegetables is estimated to be 125 mt
and is expected to be over 150mt by 2010. (NHB, 2006) This leap can be
best achieved through proper use of improved varities and hybrid
technology in combination with superior management skills.

The Indian Seed Industry at present is worth Rs. 500 crores of which
around 200 crores is the export market. Private sector is contributing
60% by value and 40 % by volume in organized seed sector. If we see the
opportunities, the Indian seed market can cross more than 10,000 crores
worth of business in coming 10 years. Considering the huge area in each
crop, the potential for quality seed supply is very high. The average
yield is much lower in India in most of the crops

28
even compared to the neighbouring countries. The variation in production
and plateauing in yield
is a major concern for the agricultural policy makers.

Quality seeds of improved varities are the most strategic resources for
higher and better vegetable yields. Good genetic composition and assured
quality seed can only guarantee its response to fertilizers and other
inputs in the expected manner. The advancement in genetic improvement
and production technology of vegetables is directly related to the
development of seed industry in the country.

The vegetable seed industry in India had a very modest beginning during
the sixties and seventies of the 20th century with handful of companies
which were mostly selling imported seeds. An important landmark in the
development of Indian seed Industry was the production of hybrid seeds
of vegetables for commercial growing. On the lines of the recommendation
made by NCA, 1971 the NSP, 1988 allowed that import seeds and germplasm
for research purposes. The purpose was to promote developments that
would maximize yields and increase farmers income. Presently, by volume
of turnover, ratio between the private and public sectors is 60:40.

Traditionally, the seed industry was dominated by the public sector,


largely due to protectionist attitude of Government. Private sector
players were deterred from entering the industry. The industry was
characterized by low margins and heavy subsidization. Presently there
are about 200-225 private seed companies in India. However there are
only a few exclusive vegetable seed companies. Public sector has its
strength in improving germplasm by maintaining specific local races and
developing high yielding varities and hybrids in some of the crops. To
carry out this desirable research deliverable to the farmers in an area
where public sector has certain weakness and private sector can
certainly hold hand and deliver these research in a much efficient way.

Both public and private sector organizations have a definite


contribution each to promote in the development of vegetable seed
industry and production of vegetables. The role of public sector is
mainly catalytic in initiating seed production, quality control, seed
certification, notification and registration of varities and other
regulatory systems. The private sector with their corporate management
skill and scientific and technological expertise have been able to
provide the Indian seed industry a strong base to fulfill the
challenging task of meeting requirements of quality seeds. Synergism in
research between public and private sectors has yielded useful results
in many developing countries.

29
The Indian Seed Industry is undergoing wide ranging transformations,
which include and increasing role of private seed companies, joint
ventures of Indian companies with multinational seed companies with
focus on biotechnology, and wide ranging changes in regulatory
frameworks, which would affect seed research, marketing and trade in
coming years. Joint ventures, partnerships, mergers and acquisition are
proliferating in numerous areas of the seed industry between the private
and public sectors as well as between national and international
companies. The activities targeted in such joint ventures include R&D,
production and marketing of hybrid seed. While the reform process
initiated in the India seed sector continues to evolve, the private seed
companies keenly await further initiatives and relaxations in the
Government regulations in seed market.

But ahead along with these green patches some grey areas also exists
viz. Intellectual property Rights, Farmers and Breeders Rights, lack of
skilled and technical personals, open markets marred with mergers and
acquisitions.

A rich blend of research activities of private and public enterprises is


prevailing in India. Import of hybrids and and OPV in cole crops
exemplifies the successful/proper functioning of International seed
trade. Seed associations are ready to take up the cause of the industry,
to support effective and efficient seed trade with other countries for
imports. The hybrids of vegetables are not only higher yielding than OP
varities but also many of them are early maturing, disease resistant and
superior quality.

India has a unique opportunity in terms of breeding a range of vegetable


crops. Competent breeders capable of developing superior hybrids, backed
by strong production capabilities can galvanize the industry towards
development of hybrids not only for the Indian subcontinent but also for
other Asian and middle-eastern countries. India has a vibrant vegetable
seed industry and appears to be on the right track for the bright future.

30
State-wise area and production of vegetables
(Area: 000’ ha., Production: 000’ t)
States /
Union
Territories
Area
Production
2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
Andhra Pradesh222.5
213.3
248.0
258.4 2586.7 2357.9 2882.3 3861.9
Arunachal
Pradesh
20.8
20.5
20.2
20.4
83.9
81.5
80.9
78.8
Assam
237.4
232.0
198.8
194.5 2935.2 2464.4 1958.9 2020.4
Bihar
578.9
609.9
815.0
816.6 8022.9 8288.513296.
9
13349.1
Chhattisgarh
104.1
97.1
61.1
125.1 1355.3 1357.2 1554.1 1266.3
Delhi
111.0
43.7
43.7
43.7
747.4
628.1
626.8
626.8
Goa
7.6
7.0
7.8
7.8
76.0
68.5
74.7
74.7
Gujarat
232.2
248.3
248.3
331.5 3278.2 3517.9 3515.2 4867.9
Haryana
150.4
163.1
203.9
207.8 2151.9 2051.8 2703.3 2980.431
Himachal
Pradesh
34.6
44.3
59.3
59.1
639.1
775.7
877.2
1013.5
Jammu
&Kashmir
50.8
24.9
34.7
52.1
728.9
332.9
462.9
843.0
Jharkhand
158.5
118.2
110.6
223.6 1736.3 1300.1 1197.2 3394.9
Karnataka
358.1
354.0
363.3
367.2 4173.2 3707.9 4176.9 4382.9
Kerala
114.3
112.7
99.2
107.6 2541.9 2547.4 2602.9 2490.1
Madhya Pradesh136.4
136.8
164.7
184.4 1817.5 1827.0 2377.0 2659.6
Maharashtra
402.4
405.0
370.0
372.2 5128.3 4768.9 4132.1 4044.4
Manipur
10.6
11.6
13.4
13.4
66.1
71.9
86.0
86.0
Meghalaya
35.7
38.1
32.7
32.7
265.9
338.9
270.5
270.5
Mizoram
6.8
4.3
5.7
5.7
44.1
31.9
24.0
24.0
Nagaland
26.3
6.7
11.9
11.9
286.0
78.5
88.1
88.1
Orissa
643.4
616.8
655.3
655.9 7447.4 7126.2 8030.9 8045.6
Punjab
135.0
138.3
153.0
158.6 2275.6 2319.4 2588.1 2677.4
Rajasthan
99.3
90.3
116.5
124.1
432.5
358.3
527.6
650.2
Sikkim
14.2
14.1
16.1
17.0
60.0
59.1
75.0
76.5
Tamil Nadu
213.8
166.6
187.1
215.3 5444.6 4223.3 4672.7 6218.3
Tripura
31.3
31.6
32.0
32.7
353.2
360.3
352.2
373.4
Uttarakhand
93.8
70.6
41.0
72.8
737.3
507.5
447.3
951.8
Uttar Pradesh
777.9
853.5
819.5
840.915044.
8
15791.
4
14862.
0
15792.8
West Bengal
1139.0 1208.5 1165.9 1189.018075.
3
17376.
5
18510.
6
18103.2
Andaman &
Nicobar #
3.1
3.6
4.0
7.1
15.8
16.3
23.3
30.8
Chandigarh#
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
1.7
1.7
1.7
1.7
Dadra & Nagar
Haveli #
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.5
13.5
13.5
13.5
13.5
Daman & Diu #
0.1
0.1
0.0
0.1
1.1
1.1
0.1
0.1
Lakshadweep#
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
Pondicherry #
3.7
4.1
4.4
4.5
54.2
63.7
71.9
74.7
Total
6155.7
6091.8
6308.9 6755.6 88622.
0
84815.
4
93165.
0
101433.5
Note
: # Previous year data.
Source :Indian Horticulture Database, 2005, National Horticulture Board,
Ministry of
Agriculture, Govt. of India.
32
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<http://www.scribd.com/Vinod%20Kumar%20Dhasmana>
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Vinod Kumar Dhasmana <http://www.scribd.com/Vinod%20Kumar%20Dhasmana>


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A very well written and informative article. An updated one will be


even better.

08 / 08 / 2009
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sagarsavvy5462 <http://www.scribd.com/sagarsavvy5462> left a comment

hi ur report is good.

10 / 15 / 2008
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