Seed Sector in Maharashtra
Seed is the most critical and fundamental input for achieving sustained agricultural growth. The role of seed sector is not only to ensure the timely supply of adequate quantity of quality seeds to farmers but also to achieve varietal diversity to suit various agro climatic zones.
More than 65% of the population of Maharashtra depends on agriculture for livelihood. Though the state is richly endowed with diverse agro-climatic and soil conditions, nearly 85% of the cultivable land is under rainfed conditions. Hence to double the food production by 2011, multi pronged efforts have to be made to enhance the agricultural productivity and the most crucial of them, in the words of eminent Agriculture Expert & Chairman, High level committee on Agriculture of maharashtra, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, is to ensure increased supply of quality seeds & plannint material.
Improvement of seed replacement ratio (SRR), incorporation of pest and disease resistance through conventional as well as genetic engineering methods and R&D efforts to respond to region specific varietal requirements to improve the yield sustainability are the major challenges to the seed industry. The seed industry has shown impressive performance and has geared up to take up the challenge of agricultural productivity. Globalization and economic liberalization has provided the appropriate climate for excellence through competitiveness.
Law Governing seed industry
Government of India has formulated the Indian Seeds Act, which was passed by the Parliament in the year 1966, with the purpose of regulating the quality of seeds. Under the World Bank funded National Seeds Project (NSP) the State Governments were assisted to set up Seeds Corporations to produce, process & distribute quality certified seeds to the farmers at reasonable prices. Under the NSP, the infrastructure of agricultural institutions was also strengthened to facilitate the seed research as well as production of breeder and foundation seed. Seed testing laboratories and state seed certification agencies were established to ensure the quality parameters. Maharashtra was on of the forerunner states to set up its own State Seed Corporation under the NSP in the year 1976. Thus emerged MSSCL on the horizon of national seed scenario.
Foundation Stone of MSSCL
MSSCL (Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation Limited) Akola is a leading Public Sector Seed Company of India MSSCL was incorporated under Companies Act, 1956. It is one of the largest State Seeds Corporation among all SSCs. Engaged primarily in production, processing and marketing of seeds or more than 50 Crops & 225 Varieties & Hybrids in almost all categories i.e. Cereals, Pulses, Oilseeds, Fibres, Vegetables, green Manuring & Fodder Crops as well as planting material.
MSSCL is well known in the Country for highest standards of quality and productivity it has maintained over the years and has been awarded National Productivity Award, a prestigious Award instituted by National Productivity Council for a record more than 16 times till date.
Set up with the objectives of making available best quality certified seeds in appropriate quantity at right time at affordable prices to the farmers, MSSCL is now producing more than 10 Lakh Qtls of quality certified seed and supplying to the farmers living private dealers as well as cooperative Agri-input marketing societies in Maharashtra as well as 12 other states all over India. MSSCL produces high quality certified, foundation and truthful seeds of assured genetic and physical purity, high germination and vigour.
Marketed under the popular brand name of “MAHABEEJ” (meaning great seed), MSSCL seeds have become symbols of quality. Mahabeej seeds are produced in diverse agro-climatic regions under the supervision of experienced technical work force. From sowing to harvesting and processing, packing to storage, the seeds are scientifically monitored to achieve and maintain uniform high quality.
MSSCL is located at Akola in Western Vidarbha, which is known as the centre of seed sector of Maharashtra and the seat of agricultural education in the form of Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Agriculture University, Akola also houses the headquarter of State Seeds Certification Agency. The Chairman of MSSCL is the Secretary (Agril) to Government of Maharashtra and Managing Director is also a senior IAS officer based at Akola.
MSSCL Market Share
MSSCL produces high quality certified, foundation and truthful seeds of assured genetic and physical purity with high germination and assured vigour. The seed production programme is organized through more than 50,000 seed growers in Maharashtra, AP, MP, Gujrat & Uttarankhand. The seed production programme is taken on 90,000 Ha. With the seed growers directly and with the help of organizers.
Standards of quality are maintained at every stage viz. production, processing, storage and marketing through scientific approach and strict surveillance. During seed production programme, rigorous concurrent inspections are done by MSSCL field officers. Apart from that independent and strict inspections are also taken by Seed Certification Agency officers. Technical guidance is consistently provided to the seed growers to maintain quality standards in seed production. Any kind of impurity found gets plugged during the inspection and the genetic purity levels are maintained thoroughly. The seeds passed in the basic parameters are only taken for processing. The processed seed is further tested in the grow out test for evaluation of the genetic purity.
The market share of MSSCL is 50% in terms of volume & 35 to 40% in terms of value in Maharashtra. MSSCL is the unchallenged market leader in Soyabean, Wheat, Paddy, Groundnut, Gram Udid, Jowar, Bajra, Tur & Moog and has very good market share in Jute, Dhaincha, Notified Improved & Hy. Cotton & Vegetables.