Seed and Sowing- Multiplication & Distribution of Seeds:
In India, farmers depend for their seed supply primarily on the state department of Agriculture and the National Seeds Corporation. The Department of Agriculture in all states has a planned programme of seed multiplication.
Classes of Quality seeds: The various classes of seed that are used in a seed production programme are:
1. Breeder seed,
2. Foundation seed,
3. Registered seed and
4. Certified seed.
These different classes of seed have different requirements and serve different functions:
1. Breeder seed: It is the seed or the vegetative propagating material produced by the breeder who developed the particular variety. The production & maintenance of breeders stock on main research station is controlled by the plant breeder. It is produced by the institution where the variety was developed in case the breeder who developed the variety is not available. In India, it is also produced by other Agri. Universities under the direct supervision of the breeder of the concerned crop working in that University, this arrangement is made in view of the large quantities of the breeder seed required every year. It is generally pure having high genetic purity (100%). Off type plants are promptly eliminated and care is taken to prevent out crossing or natural hybridization & mechanical mixtures.
2. Foundation seed: It is the progeny of the breeder seed and is used to produce registered seed or certified seed. It is obtained from breeder seed by direct increase. It is genetically pure and is the source of registered and/or certified seed. Production of foundation seed is the responsibility of NSC. It is produced on Govt. farms (TSF), at expt. stations, by Agri. Universities or by component seed growers under strict supervision of experts from NSC. It should be produced in the area of adaptation of the concerned variety.
3. Registered seed: It is produced from foundation seed or from registered seed. It is genetically pure & is used to produce certified seed or registered seed. It is usually produced by progressive farmers according to technical advice and supervision provided by NSC. In India, often registered seed is omitted and certified seed is produced directly from foundation seed.
4. Certified seed: It is produced from foundation, registered or certified seed. This is so known because it is certified by a seed certification agency, in this case state seed certification agency, to be suitable for raising a good crop. The certified seed is annually produced by progressive farmers according to standard seed production practices. To be certified, the seed must meet the prescribed requirements regarding purity & quality. It is available for general distribution to farmers for commercial crop production.