General Questions

Breeder seed: Breeder seed is the seed or vegetative propagating material directly controlled by the originating or sponsoring plant breeder of the breeding program or institution and/ or seed whose production is personally supervised by a qualified plant breeder and which provides the source for the initial and recurring increase of foundation seed.  Breeder seed shall be genetically so pure as to guarantee that in the subsequent generation i.e. certified foundation seed class shall conform to the prescribed standards of genetic purity.  The other quality factors of breeder seed such as physical purity, inert matter, germination, etc. shall be indicated on the label on an actual basis.

Foundation seed: Foundation seed shall be the progeny of Breeder seed or be produced from foundation seed, which can be clearly traced to Breeder seed.  Thus foundation seed can even be produced from foundation seed during the production of Foundation Seed the minimum seed certification standard shall be the same for both foundation seed stage-I and II.  The certification tag shall be the white color for both foundation seed stage-I and II.  The production of foundation seed stage I and II shall be supervised and approved by the certification agency and be so handled as to maintain specific genetic identity and genetic purity and shall be required to conform to certification standards specified for the crop/variety being certified.

Certified Seed: Certified seed shall be the progeny of foundation seed and its products shall be so handled as to maintain specific genetic identity and purity according to the standards prescribed for the crop being certified.  Certified seed may be the progeny of certified seed provided this reproduction does not exceed three generations beyond foundation seed stage-I.


The first generation resulting from the crossing of two varieties or parents. Hybrid(certified) seed is the first generation resulting from the cross of two approved inbred lines or parents, one of which is male sterile.

Client Query

The seed notified under Section 5 of the Seeds Act, 1966, such seed sold in the market has to be labeled as prescribed under Section 6(a) and (b) of the Seeds Act  Such seed is called Labeled Seed.

  • receipt and scrutiny of application;  

  • verification of seed source, class and other requirements of the seed used for raising the seed crop;  

  •  field inspections to verify conformity to the prescribed field standards;  

  • Supervision of post-harvest stages including processing and packaging;  

  • Seed sampling and analysis, including genetic purity test and/or seed health test, if any, in order to verify conformity to the prescribed standards; and  

  • Grant of certificate and certification tags, tagging, and sealing.  

Agencies (State Governments or Autonomous Bodies), which are notified under Section 8 of the Seeds Act are authorized for certification of seeds. At present, there are 21 state Seed Certification Agencies in the country.

So far, four Bt. cotton hybrids have been approved for commercial cultivation by GEAC, MOEF.  Out of four hybrids approved so far, Bt. MECH-12, Bt. MECH-162 and Bt. MECH-184 are of M/s. Mahyco – Monsanto and RCH 2 Bt of M/s. Rasi Seeds Pvt.  Ltd.  These hybrids are being cultivated in six states, namely Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra, AP, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. North India likely to be released during 2005 However, transgenic mustard, corn, brinjal, tomato is also under various stages of testing and trials.  

Technical Questions

The department has enacted legislation known as Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 to protect plant breeder’s rights.  The main objectives of the legislation are to (a) stimulate investments for research and development both in the public and the private sectors for the development of new plant varieties by ensuring appropriate returns on such investments; and (b) facilitate the growth of seed industry in the country through domestic and foreign investment which will ensure the availability of high quality seeds and planting material to Indian farmers. PVP & Farmer’s authority is being set up.

The government of India does not have its own farm for the production of seed, however, State Farm Corporation of India, Government of India Undertaking operates Central State Farms in different states. SFCI was set up in 1969 under the Companies Act to take quality seed production in Central State Farms. Over the passage of timekeeping in view of the economic viability of these farms only 6 farms have been retained and others were returned to State Governments since the land was taken on lease for a prescribed period of time.