Lockdown curbs hit seed processing
Telangana is seed hub with over 400 companies operating from the State
The farm sector across India, as also elsewhere across the world, is likely to suffer a huge impact of the coronavirus pandemic next agricultural year, with the functioning of the seed industry and its ancillaries being affected badly by the lockdown imposed to check the spread of COVID-19.
Telangana, which is known as the seed hub of the country for housing the processing and storage facilities of over 400 private and multi-national seed companies, serves about 70% of the country’s seed needs as well as that of several South East Asian and African countries. Apart from growing quality seed of several food crops, the State also gets seed produced in other States in the country for processing and storage here for its suitable climatic conditions.
“With the coronavirus affecting China, the USA, Germany, France, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, India and other major countries involved in seed production, the import and export of seed is likely to be affected badly in the next planting/sowing season as there is the possibility of huge gap between the demand and supply,” vice president of International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) K. Keshavulu told.
“TSSDC has engaged 5,400 farmers in 200 villages this rabi season to produce 5 lakh quintals of seed in 32,000 acres,” Mr. Keshavulu said adding that several ancillary industries such as those producing material for processing and packaging of seed also exist in the State. However, the lockdown has impacted both the seed and ancillary industries including the delays in transport of seed produced in other States. Besides, certification of seed produced in other States is certified here for exports under the OECD programme, Mr. Keshavulu explained.