Healthy seed is the mother of a healthy plant. It is one of the major components to predict the yield of the crop. In India, where the major cereal crop is paddy, availability of quality seed to the farmers in time is always a challenge and most of the time farmers end up by utilizing previous year’s seed for cultivation. It was observed that the Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) in case of Odisha is very low (14%) and farmers are using old seed year by year, resulting in gradual decrease in yield and eventually income per unit of land.
To ensure the timely availability of quality seed to small and marginal farmers, Odisha Livelihoods Mission (OLM) has taken an initiative of community led seed production of paddy. At present, this programme is running in 6 blocks of three coastal districts of Odisha namely Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada.
Selected farmers, especially small and marginal, tenant and share croppers from the same village, form an institution called Producers Group (PG). All the farmers with land adjacent to each other come together and form group for common activity ie. seed production. PG members identify patches of land (minimum 10 acre of land in a patch) suitable for seed production. Selected farmers are provided technical training on seed production by expert agencies including agriculture department of government of Odisha. The entire training programme is facilitated by OLM. PG, in their meeting takes decision on selection of variety of seed suitable to their area and its economic viability. Starting from the selection of seed to all the activities involved in seed production like land preparation, nursery raising, transplanting, roughing (removal of unwanted crop from main crop), inter-cultural operations, harvesting, thrashing, processing and community marketing are decided by the PG members.
Quality seed is always a challenge for the farmers. There are direct and indirect benefits of the seed production to the farmers in this area. Some of them are as follows:
OLM acts as a facilitator to the community members in seed production, by ensuring technical support and marketing link. OLM, with the help of its field functionaries,identify farmers interested in seed production and form their group. OLM provides training to the farmers on institutional strengthening, while it facilitates technical training on seed production by engaging technical agencies. OLM has a tie up with various government agencies like Seed Corporation of India and Agriculture department at state level, for getting required inputs for seed production, seed certification and tagging and marketing of seed. OLM ensures timely supply of foundation seed to the farmers. Agriculture department officials visit the farms and certify the seed production as per the Seed Certification Act.
Average yield of paddy, in this part of Odisha is 16-18 quintal per acre. Based on the sample collected, it was observed that the seeds produced by the farmers, yields 22-24 quintal per acre, which means direct benefit of Rs 5000 - 7000 per acre. PG members involved in seed production are getting a margin of Rs 6 - 7 per kg of seed processed,which leads to increase their income by Rs 15000 - 20000 per acre.
Although community seed production in paddy is just three years old in Odisha, its impact is quite visible. Seeds produced by the farmers, are giving more yield than the seed available in the market. If we go by the farmer’s word, then they say this seed is more trustworthy than the government seed or the seed available in market. Producers Group members, who are involved in the seed production from last two years, are now ready to take up the seed production of other crops also.
Source : Rahul (9948724518)
Last Modified : 3/1/2020