Seed certification for horticultural crops:
Present policy and future needs
Seed is the basic input for agricultural crop production and the effectiveness of other inputs like fertilizer, irrigation etc. depends on seed quality. The production can be increased to about 20% using quality seed itself. Horticulture crops are playing significant role in nutritional improvement, food and financial security of the people of Bangladesh. In the recent years, the country has attained self sufficiency in cereal crops. But production of horticultural crops like vegetables, spices and fruits is much below the required quantity. The area and production of vegetables and spices are ...view middle of the document...
Area and production of vegetables and spices (1)
|Crop |2009-10 |2010-11 |2011-12 |
| |Area |Production |Area |Production |Area |Production |
| |(Lac ha) |(Lac MT) |(Lac ha) |(Lac MT) |(Lac ha) |(Lac MT) |
|Vegetable (Winter) |4.57 |72.75 |4.65 |77.03 |4.73 |88.30 |
|Total vegetable |7.30 |108.69 |7.20 |111.94 |7.41 |125.80 |
|Potato |4.72 |84.00 |4.60 |83.26 |4.30 |82.05 |
|Spices |4.85 |22.93 |5.06 |25.71 |5.26 |29.65 |
Requirements for certification
Complete seed certification is done through inspection of standing seed crop in production field and testing of representative samples in the laboratory for estimation of specified quality attributes. It uses some regulatory tools like prescribed procedures for field inspection and seed testing, approved field and seed standards. Field and seed standards of 74 crops including horticultural crops have already been approved by the National Seed Board (2).
Existing seed legislation
According to the Seeds (Amendment) Act 1997, seeds means, except those used for drugs and narcotics, any of the following classes of seeds used for sowing or planting -
(i) seeds of food crops including edible oil seeds and seeds of fruits and vegetables;
(ii) seeds of fiber crops;
(iii) seeds of flower and ornamental plants;
(iv) seeds of forage crops;
and includes seedlings, and tubers, bulbs, rhizomes, root cuttings, all types of grafts and other vegetative propagated materials (3).
The Government shall regulate the quality of seed of any kind or variety to be sold and used for the purposes of agriculture (4).
In Nursery Guidelines 2008- (a) horticultural crops has been defined as the crops produced in a fence or with intensive care. It includes vegetables, spices, fruits, plantation, flowers and ornamental plants. (b) propagules has been defined as seed, leaf, stem, branch, cutting, grafting, budding, stolon, tuber, rhizome, bulb, stamp, sucker and all parts of plants with roots (5).
According to the aforesaid guidelines, the owner of horticulture nursery, if he desires, may take certificate from the Seed Certification Agency prior to marketing. Therefore, provision of certification and quality control of horticultural crops are covered by the existing seed legislations of the country.
Importance of certification
At present about 90...