The basic purpose of seed legislation and its subsequent enforcement is to regulate the quality of seed sold to farmers.
Seed legislation can broadly be divided into two groups:
Seed Legislation in India
The rapid development of agricultural production with the introduction of hybrid varieties of maize, jowar and bajra, and dwarf varieties of wheat and paddy, however, necessitated the enactment of seed legislation. On 29th December 1966, the Seeds Act was passed. It came into force throughout the country on 2nd October 1969.
The main features of the Seeds Act, 1966
It is applicable only to notified kinds/varieties of seed and vegetatively propagating materials used for sowing.2. Sanctioning legislation
The Act provides for the formation of an apex advisory body, namely, the Central Seed Committee; the Central Seed Certification Board; establishment of Seed Certification Agencies; and Central and State Seed Testing Laboratories, etc.
3. Regulatory legislation
The Act provides for the provisions for notification of kinds/varieties to be brought under the purview of the Seeds Act; regulation regarding the sale of seed; and the establishment of a suitable seed law enforcement machinery. Under the Act the Central Govt. is empowered to make rules to carry out the purposes of the Act and to give directions to State Govt. It necessary, for carrying into execution, in the state concerned the provisions of the Act or Rules.
Notification of kinds or Varieties
The Central Government after consultation with the Central Seed Committee can issue notification for such kinds/varieties for which it is of the opinion that it has become necessary or expedient to regulate the quality of seed to be sold for the purposes of agriculture. The notification brings such kinds/varieties under the purview of the Seeds Act.
Regulation of Sale of Notified Kinds/Varieties
Under Section 7 of the Act, the seeds of notified kinds/varieties can be sold in containers only, if they are either (a) labeled or, (b) certified and meet the minimum prescribed requirements.
Statutory Requirements for Sale of Seed
The seed container shall be labeled in the following manner. The colour of the label shall be buff.
Kinds or Varieties
Under Section 17 of the Act, no person shall, for the purpose of sowing or planting by any person, export or import or cause to be exported or imported any seed of any notified kind or variety, unless:
Sale of seed
The seed inspectors, possessing prescribed qualification, appointed by the State Governments through notification in the official Gazette are responsible for Seed Law Enforcement in their respective areas. The State Governments will also notify State Seed Laboratories and State Analysts where the samples drawn by seed in drawn by seed inspectors can be tested under the supervision of the State Seed Analyst.
Penalties for offenders
The person who contravenes any provision of the Seeds Act or any rule thereunder, or prevents a seed inspector from taking a sample under this Act, or prevents a seed inspector from excising any other power conferred on him by, or under, the Seeds Act, on conviction is punishable: