Hyderabad: Telangana, which has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to the development of the farm sector in general and the welfare of farmers in particular, is set to become the first State in the country to implement a Seed Traceability System that will help farmers buy quality and genuine seed. The new system, which will also help in curbing the menace of spurious seed, is likely to be implemented from the 2021 Vaanakalam season.
Since State formation, the TRS government launched several welfare and development programmes that pushed the agriculture sector in the State to the numero uno position in the country. Simultaneously, it has also been focusing on curbing the menace of spurious seeds, enforcing stringent enforcement of seed laws, slapping the PD Act against seed offenders, strengthening seed organisation, constitution of task force teams for regular monitoring, among others. Despite these measures, some companies tend to sell spurious seeds to farmers with the result, agriculture production gets affected, Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority (TSSOCA) Director K Keshavulu told Telangana Today.
Telangana is considered the Seed Bowl of the country, supplying about 60 per cent of country’s seed requirement, besides meeting its own requirement. During the year 2019-20, about 33 lakh quintals of seeds of different crops were made available to enable cultivation in an area of 203 lakhs acres in the State.
Considering these factors, the Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority worked on developing the seed traceability system.
Telangana made it mandatory for Telangana Seed Organisations to implement the QR Codes and Seed Traceability even before other States.
Accordingly, the Telangana State Seed Certification Authority (TSSCA) has developed seed traceability software for entire State on behalf and is ready for implementation with immediate effect from this season.
In addition to seed traceability software, in the past Telangana State has set an example to other States in the country. In 2016, the State introduced Online or digitalisation of all seed certification services from Vanakalam sesaon onwards.
Benefits of seed traceability and how it functions
It is a simple software and can be used by farmers using a smart phone. Upon scanning the QR code, the farmers can assess and learn about the quality and genuinity of seeds. The QR Codes can be printed and displayed anywhere on the containers and labels.
Once the QR code is scanned, immediately, all the details about the seeds, including the place of manufacture, time and manufacturer details, processing and packing locations, seed quality tests results, tests date and expiry details are flashed on the screen.
With the help of QR coding and Seed traceability, farmers can check the genuineness of seed production, quality of seed can be verified, seed generation chain in seed production or multiplication can be established, said TSSOCA Director K Keshavulu. More importantly, counterfeiting or misuse of seed tags and misbranding of seeds can be avoided through this software, he informed.
It is not the just the farmers, this will be more beneficial to the seed manufacturers also. After checking all the details, farmers will be confident enough to purchase QR coded seed bags compared to the conventional ones, which lack these tags. It will be highly helpful in exporting the seeds as well, he explained.
It improves the credibility of manufacturers and value addition for seeds in the market and farmers can purchase genuine seeds. For law enforcement authorities too the software helps in different ways as they can check on-spot information on seed genuinety and initiate stringent action against offenders.
“After several months of hardwork, Telangana has developed an efficient and model Seed traceability system, and is ready for launching and implementation any time in near future,” said Keshavulu.
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