Hyderabad: Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority Director and Vice President International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) K Keshavulu, has cautioned the State authorities and farmers about the entry of unsolicited seeds into the State that have no identity or certification. Terming this entry of faceless seeds as “agricultural smuggling” he said that being a seed capital, Hyderabad with many seed producing firms in the vicinity of the city must be very careful.
“The Americans have recognised that these kinds of seeds are entering from China. These seed packets escape the checking at the port of entry even though they have no markings of quality on them,” he said.
Following their entry into North America, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued orders asking farmers not to open the packets or sow the seeds in their farms. The ISTA Vice President further said that the government there has asked the farmers to immediately call the authorities and handover such seed.
He said that the US-APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) has swung into action and recognized that the seed is coming from China. ” It was said that cultivation of such seed will not only affect the environment by encouraging growth of insect pests but also damage the agriculture in a big way,” he said. He said that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has also stepped up its vigil and is checking godowns for the spurious seed.
He said that such unsolicited seed can easily enter India because of the huge quantities of seed that the country imports. ” Seed companies, seed producers, seed associations, agricultural departments and farmers and national level organizations must be cautious and take precautionary measures,” he said. He assured farmers that he would take up the issue to the notice of national level authorities.
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