SEED QUALITY FOR FOOD SECURITY IN NEPAL
Seed is the most important unit in agriculture. The agricultural production and productivity is greatly affected by the quality of seed grown in the farmers field within the country. The phenological stages of the crops solely depends upon the seed selected and sown in the planting time which in turn influences on yield and yield attributing characters. This creates a clear image that seed quality is a safest route to increase agricultural production and ensures sufficiency of food for the whole nation. Food security, as defined by The UN Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
The quality seed possesses the following characters:
- High genetic purity
- High pure seed percentage
- High germinability
- High vigor
- Higher feed establishment
- Free from pest and diseases
- Good shape, size, color etc according to the specification of variety
- High longevity / shelf life.
- Optimum moisture content for storage
- High market value
Quality seeds establish good crop stand because of its genetic and physiological qualities. So, with institutional and technological enhancements in seed sectors, quality seeds can be used as a solution for food security with addition to food self sufficiency too. Production of seeds by following proper seed cycle, following seed system with complete knowledge and technological training on post-harvest operations up to marketing, utilization of maximum seed policies, seed schemes national , international both needs to be done in order to be self -reliable , sustainable , standard in line with sustaining food security and enhancing productivity.
Importance of seed quality:
- Ensures genetic and physical purity of the crops.
- Gives desired plant population.
- Capacity to withstand adverse conditions.
- Seedlings produced will be more vigorous, fast growing and can resist pest and diseases incidence to certain extent.
- Ensures uniform growth and maturity.
- Development of root system will be more efficient that aids for absorption of nutrients efficiently and results in higher yield.
- Ensures well response to added fertilizers and other inputs.
- Good quality seeds of improved varieties increase yield at least 10-12%.
In a nutshell, the concerned authorities and the GOV of Nepal should prioritize on quality seeds productions in order to ensure food securing in Nepal.