The basic purpose of
seed legislation and its subsequent enforcement is to regulate the quality of seed sold to
Seed legislation can
broadly be divided into two groups:
- Sanctioning legislation
- Control legislation
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
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.
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
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.
- Lot number
- Date of test
- Inert matter percentage
- Pure seed percentage
- Other crop seed percentage
- Weed seeds percentage
- Germination percentage
- Net content
- Sellers name and address
- If treated, then either of the
following two statements should appear on the label.
No person can sell, keep for sale, and
offer to sell, barter or otherwise supply any seed of any notified kind/variety after the
validity period recorded on the container, mark or label has expired.
No person can alter obliterate or
deface any mark or label attached to the container of any seed.
Every person selling, keeping for sale,
offering to sell, bartering or otherwise supplying any seed of notified kind or variety
under Section 7 shall keep over a period of three years a complete record of each lot of
seed sold, except for this, any seed sample may be discarded one year after the entire lot
represent by such sample has been disposed of.
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,
- It conforms to the minimum limits of
germination and purity specified for that seed under clauses (a) of Section 6; and
- Its container bears, in the prescribed
manner, the mark or label with the correct particulars there have specified for that seed
under clauses (b) of Section 6.
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:
- For the first offence with a fine which
may extend to five hundred rupees; and
- In the event of such a person having
been previously convicted of an offence under this section, with imprisonment for a term
which may extend upto six months, or with a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees,
or with both.
- Forfeiting of property. When any person
has been convicted under this Act, for the contravention of any of the provisions of this
Act or the Rules made thereunder, the seed in respect of which the contravention has been
committed may be forfeited to the Government.
- Offences by companies. Where an offence
under this Act has been committed by a company every person who, at the time the offence
was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the
business of the company as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the
offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.