Introduction

Introduction

    • India is the second largest producer of vegetables only next to China. In India vegetables are grown in 6.2 million ha with a production of 94 mt. Our vegetable requirement in the country is estimated at 225 mt by 2020. Substantial increase in yield and quality of vegetable crops depends upon a number of factors viz., quality seed, fertilizers, irrigation and plant protection measures and suitable agronomic practices. Among these use of quality seed plays a pivotal role. As per Manusmnti – an ancient Hindu Scripture, “Good seed on good land yields abundant produce” adds age-old recognition to the importance of good quality seed in crop production.
    • Economically, the cost of seed is less but it is realized only on possession of good quality characters. The importance of seed quality is emphasised as “seeds of hope may turn into seeds of frustration” if they are not of high quality. It is therefore, important to use the seed confirming to the prescribed standards in terms of high genetic and physical purity, physiological and health quality.
    • In most of the public sectors, the major concentration is on open pollinated varieties of which wheat and rice account for about 60 per cent. Majority of the promising hybrids of vegetables are from the private sector as they mostly deal with high value, low volume seeds. Thus, private companies have good scope and opportunity to sell seeds, as large area is still being sown with farm saved seeds. Private sector seed companies account for about 67 per cent of seed production and farmers keep their own seed. Government agencies including public sector corporations at the central and state hardly contribute 33 per cent of the total seed requirement. However, the estimated requirement of vegetable seeds at present is about 20,000 t for tropical and subtropical kinds and 200 t for temperate ones, which will constantly increase in the years to come. Among the vegetables, garden pea constitutes 6,000 to 7,000 t, bhendi around 5,000 t, onion 2,500 t.

Last modified: Wednesday, 20 June 2012, 5:20 AM