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Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh

"India: "Huge potential to export hybrid seeds"

India, with a domestic seed market size of about Rs 150 billion (2.2 billion USD) has a huge potential to become a global supplier of hybrid seeds, especially vegetables, field crops and flower, according to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.

India's share in the world seed market is less than 2 percent, and the National Seed Policy aims to take it to 10 per cent by 2020.

Expressing concern over yield plateau in some crops in India, Singh called for more investment in research in the seed sector for development of new and better varieties, which not only have a higher yield potential, but have a wider range of adaptability and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

"Indian seed industry can become a major supplier of seed for global markets," Singh said addressing the Asian Seed Congress organised by the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA).

India has a big potential for hybrid seed production, especially of high value vegetable seeds at a cheaper cost compared with other countries, he said in a statement issued by the Agriculture Ministry.

The country with its diverse agro-climatic zones, skilled human resources and enterprise offers opportunity for diverse seed production for exports, especially that of high value pollinated vegetables, field crops and flower seeds, he added.

Besides vegetables, seeds of hybrid corn, paddy, pearl millet and cotton have promising exports prospects in Asian and African countries, he added.

Stating that the government is ready to address the constraints faced by the seed industry, Singh said: "We will try our best to resolve the issues so that Indian seed industry of public and private sectors may fulfill domestic and international demand."

The government is "committed" to higher growth rate in agriculture through sustainable development and is continuously trying to streamline the seed quality regulatory framework in order to make it predictable, transparent and progressive, he said.

"I would like to assure that the central government is making all-out efforts to help the seed sector grow more, both domestically and in the international arena. We are committed to seeing growth of this sector in a transparent and sustainable manner at a much faster pace," he added.

Source: The Economic Times
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