Seeds – the starting point of agriculture – have consistently influenced the course of India’s food security. Years of intensive technology upgradation has perfected India’s seed potential to feed a rapidly multiplying population. From the clichéd begging bowl, India’s ascent to being the power center of agriculture was primarily driven through improved seeds. The high yielding varieties of wheat and rice that kick started India’s green revolution is the perfect example of seeds changing the agriculture fortunes of a country. Later, seeds developed to meet specific requirements of the agro climatic conditions and prevailing demands of agriculture including high yielding varieties, hybrids, GM seeds etc., have been able to leave a permanent imprint on the Indian agriculture. With a spirited approach from the government, seeds from organized segment has invaded the Indian farms. Today India’s seed industry is ranked fifth in the world with a promising future ahead of it.
However, there is an imbalance in the growth and development of the Seed sector. Research and development has been mostly restricted to high value low volume seeds. India’s seed replacement rate is also far from desirable. The broader discontent towards GM seeds, and at the same time, the lack of trust in the regulatory authority are challenges that need to be addressed at the earliest. Considering the climate change and the challenges it presents, there is a need for wider cooperation and association among the international community. International Conference on Seeds thus becomes a significant step to bring together the stakeholders on a single platform to discuss and evolve steps for the holistic development of the seed industry.
The Conference aims at achieving the following specific objectives: