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Seeds: The Birth of Agriculture | Seed Certification | BLOG SHURUWAATAGRI

Updated: Feb 11, 2022


Introduction: What is seed?

SEED or propagule or seed material is that organ of a crop which is living in a rudimentary form and is used for propagation. Botanically, seed can be defined as a fertilized ovule which consist intact embryo, stored food, and a seed coat that has the capacity to germinate.

There are four essential factors for the germination of seed:

  • Moisture

  • Temperature

  • Oxygen

  • Capacity of seed to germinate





Types of pure seed

According to the international crop improvement association, pure seeds are of four classes:

Breeder seed
Such seeds which are produced under the direct supervision of plant breeders and possess all the genetic characteristics required are known as breeder seeds.  These seeds are costly and have high genetic value. These are used for the production of foundation seeds.
Foundation seed
Also known as mother seed which is produced from breeder seed and is helpful for the production of certified seeds. The national seed corporation is responsible for the production of foundation seeds. It can be produced on government farms, agricultural universities, experiment stations, or on cultivar's fields under supervision from National Seed Corporation. Foundation seed is denoted by a white tag.
Registered seed
These seeds are produced from foundation seed or registered seed itself and are helpful to produce certified seed. These have satisfactory purity and genetic identity and are produced by progressive farmers under supervision from State Seed Corporation. These are denoted with a purple tag. 
Certified seed
Certified seed is a progeny of registered seed, foundation seed, or certified seed itself. Satisfactory purity and genetic identity are present. It is certified and approved by State Seed Certifying Agency. It is tagged with blue color. State seed corporation is responsible for their production, but sometimes National seed Corporation also undertakes its production.


Agronomically, seeds can be classified as:

Improved seed
Hybrid seed
Composite seed
Mutant seed
Seed dormancy

Seed dormancy means the inability of a vital seed to germinate under favorable conditions for a period of time. It is a reversible rest period that postpones metabolic, morphogenetic, and synthetic activities which are associated with the least physiological and moisture content.


How to break seed dormancy?

Seeds are treated with various methods to break their dormancy:

  • Seeds can be heated at 40 to 45 ° C for the various duration.

  • Seeds soaked for 36 hours can be treated at low temperature to 2-8° C for 12 to 24 hours.

  • Stratification:

Stratification is a method in which seeds are chilled at 0-5°C. This method is referred to as most chilling. It is usually practiced in seeds of pear, apple, walnut, plum, peach, etc.

  • Scarification:

It is a method in which the seed coat is softened so that water and gas can be absorbed easily. It can be practiced as follows:

a) Acid scarification – In acid stratification, dry seeds are treated with concentrated sulfuric acid, the duration of treatment varies from seed to seed. Seeds are washed thoroughly with water after treating with acid.

b) Mechanical scarification – In this, seeds are mechanically scarified so that moisture absorption can be increased. It is often practiced in the bitter gourd in which seeds are rubbed for 5 to 10 minutes with sand.

c) Hot water scarification – It is usually practiced in some legumes, in which dry seeds are soaked in hot water for 1 to 1.5 hours.

  • Inhibitors leaching

In some seeds, there are some inhibitors that cause dormancy like in coriander, couramin causes dormancy. To remove such kind of dormancy, seeds are soaked for 3 to 4 days in water, in which water is changed in every 12 hours.

  • Growth regulators or Chemicals:

There are various chemicals that break down the dormancy of seed-like gibberellic acid cytokinin ethylene potassium nitrates needs of chilgoza require exposure to extreme heat to break dormancy.



Certification of seed

Certification of seed is done by Certification Agency, notified under section 8 of Seed Act 1966.

State seed Certification Agency (SSCA):

State seed certification agency is responsible for seed certification, field inspection and also conducts seed tests which are required for seed certification.SSCA was registered under the state public society registration act.



Procedure for Seed Certification

Seed Certification is carried out as follows:

  • Application scrutiny.

  • The Source of seed and other requirements which are used for raising the seed crop is verified.

  • Inspection of field

  • Post-harvest stages are supervised

  • Sampling and testing of seed

  • Tagging, sealing, and grant of certificate

Agencies that produce certified seeds

Currently, the National seed Corporation, State Seed Corporation, State Department of Agriculture, State Farm Corporation of India, Private companies, Cooperative and individual farmers produce certified seeds.

From where to order seeds?

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