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Classes of seeds

This topic covers information about classes of seeds of crops.

There are four generally recognized classes of seeds. They are

  • Breeder seed
  • Foundation seed
  • Registered seed
  • Certified seed
The basis of seed multiplication of all notified varieties/hybrids is the Nucleus seed.

Definition of seed classes

Nuclear seed : This is the hundred percent genetically pure seed with physical purity and produced by the original breeder/Institute /State Agriculture University (SAU) from basic nucleus seed stock. A pedigree certificate is issued by the producing breeder.

Breeder seed : The progeny of nucleus seed multiplied in large area as per indent of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DOAC), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, under supervision of plant breeder / institute / SAUs and monitored by a committee consisting of the representatives of state seed certification agency, national / state seed corporations, ICAR nominee and concerned breeder. This is also hundred percent physical and genetic pure seed for production of foundation seed. A golden yellow colour certificate is issued for this category of seed by the producing breeder.

Foundation seed : The progeny of breeder seed produced by recognized seed producing agencies in public and private sector, under supervision of seed certification agencies in such a way that its quality is maintained according to prescribed field ad seed standards. A white colour certificate is issued for foundation seed by seed certification agencies.

Registered seed : Registered seed shall be the progeny of foundation seed that is so handled as to maintain its genetic identity and purity according to standard specified for the particular crop being certified. A purple colour certificate is issued for this category of seed.

Certified seed : The progeny of foundation seed produced by registered seed growers under supervision of seed certification agencies to maintain the seed quality as per minimum seed certification standards. A blue colour certificate is issued by seed certification agency for this category of seed.

The foundation and certified seeds can be multiplied at stage 1 and II, but the reproduction can not exceed three generations after breeder seed.

Difference between certified seed and truthful labeled seed

Certified seed Truthful labelled seed
Certification is voluntary. Quality guaranteed by certification
Truthful labelling is compulsory for notified kind of varieties. Quality guaranteed by producing agency
Applicable to notified kinds only Applicable to both notified and released varieties
It should satisfy both minimum field and seed standards Tested for physical purity and germination
Seed certification officer, seed inspectors can take samples for inspection Seed inspectors alone can take samples for checking the seed quality.

Source : SeedNet India portal

Related links

  1. Indian minimum seed certification standards
j n murthy Aug 11, 2019 10:06 PM

Now, the government is mooting for change in the labeling of seeds. The Truthful labelled seed is being done away with.

Barbara Aug 07, 2019 08:20 AM

This page states "There are four generally recognized classes of seeds," then lists and defines FIVE classes of seeds. What's that about? I am just a curious person who wanted to find out what foundation seeds are, and your definition has confused me.

ishay Dec 06, 2018 05:42 AM

what kind of seed is the best to produce?

maklarren peelwar Jun 07, 2018 09:21 AM

what is the purity percentage of registered&certified class of seeds

Mayappa Layappa Hirekurbar May 03, 2018 08:28 PM

Seeds to be provided with ISO certified company

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