India Additional Amendments To The Seeds Bill, 2004

Jan 1, 2010
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The Union Cabinet today approved moving additional amendments to the Seeds Bill, 2004.

The provisions will be implemented only after the Bill becomes an Act. The Rules under the Act shall be notified at the earliest after the enactment of the proposed legislation.

The legislation will regulate the quality of seeds and planting materials to ensure the availability of quality seeds to the farmers; to protect the rights of the farmers; curb the sale of spurious and poor quality seeds; increase private participation in seed production, distribution, etc. and liberalize imports of seeds and planting materials.

Provisions of labeling, seed health, expected performance and compensation to farmers have been included to ensure public accountability. Innovations include compulsory registration, enabling Government to exclude certain varieties on ground of public health, environment, etc., provision for expected performance, seed health and farmer's compensation, etc.

The additional amendments provide for nomination of Chairperson of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority and National Bio-diversity Authority to the Central Seed Committee, submission of seed related periodic returns to the State Government and enhancement in penalties of offences.


Seed is the most important input for agricultural production. Efficacy of other agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation is largely determined by the quality of seed. Seed quality accounts for 20-25% of productivity. It is therefore, important to ensure the quality of seed. A need has arisen for up-grading the seed quality regime by enacting a new legislation in view of emergence of new technologies; need to safe-guard the interest of the farmers; increasing role of the private sector in seed production; India's integration at the international level through World Trade Organization (WTO), and other International Organizations/Treaties and increasing scope of export/import of seeds and planting materials.

Rajneesh Madhok