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VEGETABLE SEED INDUSTRY

VEGETABLE SEED INDUSTRY

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Published by ABID H
Vegetables seeds industry
Vegetables seeds industry

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Published by: ABID H on Sep 03, 2008
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07/10/2014

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“VEGETABLE SEED INDUSTRY” – prospect and retrospectINTRODUCTION
India has taken a bold step towards self sufficiency in food. However, self sufficiency inthe true sense can be achieved only when each individual in the country is assured of balanceddiet. This created an urgent need for providing health security to our population by supplyingnutrition through balanced diet. Indians are predominantly vegetarians and depend on vegetablesfor bulk of their nutrients and minerals. More recently, the role and usefulness of anti-oxidants present in vegetables in human health has been demonstrated, adding value to this set of crops.Vegetables cultivation has been known to stimulate development because it is labour intensive,earns higher returns and involve extra skills. Development in vegetable production will thereforecontribute not only to food and nutritional security but also to poverty alleviation and incomegeneration.Vegetables form the most important component of a balanced diet. India is the secondlargest producer of vegetables in the world next only to China with an estimated production of about 105.0 million tonnes from an area of 6.0 million hectares at an average yield of 16 tonnes per hectare. India shares about 15 % of the world output of vegetables from about 2.8 % of croppped area in the country. However our per capita consumption is quite low. We can growvariety of vegetables all the year round. Varied agro-climatic conditions in India make it possibleto grow a wide variety of vegetable crops all the year round in one part of the country or another.India can claim to grow the largest number of vegetable crops compared to any other country of the world and as many as 61 annual and 4 perennial vegetable crops are commercially cultivated.In the post partition period a good infrastructure for vegetable research has been created.At present vegetable research is being carried out at four central institutes, one NationalResearch Centre and 26 State Agricultural Universities. The All India Coordinated ResearchProgramme of the Project Directoreate of Vegetable Research provides facilities fomultidisciplinary, area specific research on 23 vegetable crops and provides a national grid for multilocation testing of technologies developed by various institrutions. As a result research onvarious aspects of major vegetable crops is being undertaken in order to improve existingvarieties and standardise production techniques.1
 
Vegetables are one of the cheapest source of nutrition and have important role in fightinghunger in this over populated country. More than 50 indigenous and exotic vegetables of temperate and tropical origin are native to India. The history of domestication, adaptation andassimilation of such a large inventory of kinds and varieties point to their interesting link withthe waves after waves of early people, natives and even those who migrated from central Asia tomake India their home.The history of vegetables is also a welcome reminder that India received so much morefrom the world than it could possibly give back. The excavations of pre-historic and proto-historic sites provide an authentic historical evidence of cultivation of vegetables such as peas,melons and beans by the people of major civilisation that flourished along Indus River Valley, asfar back as 2500 BC. The excavations at Maheshwara and Navadatoli in Madhya Pradesh havefurther established peoples’ knowledge of vegetables in vedic period (around 1200 BC). Rigvedaand Atharva Veda, written during that period, cite medicinal properties of onions and garlic. Jainworks, Budhist Sutras and Jatakas exhorted usage of eggplant, cucumber, bottlegourd etc. for general well being (Om Prakash, 1961).Indian National Science Academy (1980) has brought out relevant botanical names of  plants mentioned in medical treatise like “Charaka Samhita” dated to be around 600 BC and inthe “Sasruta Samhita” of 3
rd
to 4
th
Century AD (Ray et al., 1980). Invaders, travellers and tradersall contributed in introduction and spread of large number of vegetables used by Indian sincelong time. Mughals, who invaded in 15
th
century and ruled until British took over and who weregourmets of good food, included liberal doses of onion and garlic in the recipes for flavouringtheir culinary delicacies, especially the meat dishes. Colonising traders from Portugal, France, Netherlands, Denmark and Britain brought crops like cabbage and cauliflower, hot pepper, potato, etc. between 14
th
-17
th
centuries (Seshadri and Chatterjee, 1966).Interestingly, the ubiquitous Tomato which claims today the largest production came justabout 200 years ago. Similarly cauliflower which was introduced by Europeans, not only claimssubstantial area today but is one crop that has undergone major genetic upheaval within a short period- thanks to voluntary selection by local cultivators, mostly during early part of this centuryitself. The evolution of a new and distinct class: Indian Cauliflower, is a fascinating story of 2
 
unlocking its hidden genetic potential by people who did not know much about the intricacies of  plant breeding (Swarup and Chatterjee, 1973).The present prominent status of vegetables in overall nutritional security of the countrycan, thus be attributed to centuries of domestication of indigenous genetic diversity, large number of introductions from far off lands followed by their adaptation, and more recently, valueaddition through genetic advances. Today, India prides itself as the second largest producer of vegetables in the world. It has maintained a measured growth in production for meeting thegrowing demands at home and abroad. The projections of requirements during the early decadesof next century, however, have to factor not only total population growth (currently 1.8 percent) but also an increasing proportion of middle class with greater nutritional and appetisingconcerns. It is presumed that by 2025 India will have 1.4 billion people, majority of whom willhave relatively higher living standards. To meet this demand, the strategists have set a growthtarget of 3 percent for the production and accordingly emphasised the need for action to achieve productivity from ever diminishing land resources. The solution lies clearly in the technologythat aims at deriving best out of the configurations of genes and environments.Dispensation of technology through genetic package i.e. seed, is the most cost effectivestrategy. Realising this, though belatedly, government of India liberalised vegetable seed imports by announcing the New Seed Policy, 1988. Tariff barriers were removed through an instrumentof duty free Open General Licence (OGL). Thanks to the policy, that the farmers now have avery wide choice of planting materials available anywhere in the world.A global trend of growers’ shift into the fast track of hybrid technology is clearly visiblein India too. The hybrids are being adopted for their: (a) greater productivity, (b) extendedavailability, (c) better adaptability, (d) selective capability. For the seed industry, constantlygrappling with the onslaught of pirates, hybrids provide built-in safeguards in pre-programmed parent lines. Encouraged by these fundamentals, seed industry has started investing heavily inhybrid research while remaining an active partner in public institutional effort of an overallvariety upgradation.There is a necessity for continuous flow of value added planting materials employingconventional and/ or biotechnological systems in order to match the ever changing needs of consumers and farms. An even greater participation and investment in biotechnological andapplied research by both public and private sector is paramount. And, a consistent support-3

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Madhu Sharma added this note
very much informative
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Bhushan Borse added this note
could you please suggest me - from where can i get the updated data of vegetable seed size (hybrid and o/p both, crop-wise) market of Srilanka..pls inform me bhushan.borse72@gmail.com
Ram Krishna added this note
Very much collective, anlytical information. much more use full for Seed sector aspirants.
Udaya Bhaskar added this note
nice information, good work
Bidhu Bhushan Binit added this note
so much informative article. could you please suggest me - from where can i get the updated data of vegetable seed (hybrid and o/p both, crop-wise) market of India...the data you have mentioned in this article is of 2005. i need data up to 2011. thanks
Pradeep Kumar Revu added this note
very informative article kudos :-)
Venkat Manjunath added this note
Good article and informative

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