Village Seed Banks:An integrated seed system for improved seed production and supply ? A case study uri icon

abstract

  • Quality seed of improved varieties is an important basic input for enhancing productivityof any crop species. Existing mechanisms to meet the groundnut seed requirements ofsmall-scale farmers are not adequate and have serious limitations. Private seed sector isreluctant to produce and market seed of open pollinated varieties/ self pollinated crops suchas groundnut for economic consideration. A joint venture project between the InternationalCrops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Department of RuralDevelopment (DRD), Government of Andhra Pradesh was launched in Mahbubnagardistrict in 2009 with the objective to improve access to and availability of good quality seedof farmer-preferred improved groundnut varieties particularly to smallholder farmers ataffordable prices and at the right time to enhance crop productivity income and householdfood security. Efforts to improve the performance of the agricultural sector should includeseed production, storage and delivery system at village level rather than in urban centers.The baseline studies in the project area identified key problems related to groundnut seedsupply system. Lack of timely availability of good quality seeds of high-yielding varietiesis one of the major constraints contributing to stagnant yields of groundnut crop in theproject area where it is grown in postrainy season under irrigated conditions. The otherconstrains include lack of proper storage facilities at farm/household level, storage insectpests, and farmers? perception of better performance of seed obtained from outsideover locally produced seed. The project devised alternate seed systems, which ensureavailability of quality seed of improved varieties at local level and integration of informalseed enterprises and farmers in the seed production and supply systems to enable timelyavailability of quality seed at the door-step of farmers. The concept of village seed bankswas promoted and successfully validated in the project villages in Mahbubnagar district inAndhra Pradesh. It not only ensured timely availability of quality seed of farmer-preferredvarieties at affordable price at local level but also enhanced crop productivity and localseed enterprises leading to higher incomes to farmers. The village seed model can bereplicated elsewhere and to other crops as well

publication date

  • 2010