Quality Rice Seed

Quality Rice Seed

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Planning and management of seed production btn_backbtn_forward
Seed Classification
Understanding the different classes of seed so that the right seed is used.
Just think about it! A plant breeder develops a new variety – it is very good and every farmer wants the variety. The seed marketing companies want the seed to meet the high demand from the farmers. In this chain from plant breeder to farmer, there are a number of steps and, at each step the system must ensure that the original variety is truthfully produced.

This lesson will show you the different types, or classes, of seed. In module 5, you will study the steps in producing greater quantities of seed and in module 6, you will see how a variety is transferred from the research station to the farmer.

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When a new variety is released there is very little seed. There may be only a handful of seed selected by the breeder from individual plants. This seed is the basis of a variety and is known as the Nucleus Stock. This nucleus stock must be managed with great care so that all seed produced from it remains true to the new variety. This is a most important step and is the responsibility of the plant breeder who developed the variety. (If you are a plant breeder who maintains nucleus stock, this lesson is important for you.)

The nucleus stock seed is not available to farmers. The next step in the chain from plant breeder to farmer is that the plant breeder develops Breeder Seed.

Breeder seed is the seed of the highest purity of the new variety. It is produced by the breeder and provided by the breeder’s institution to agencies for further multiplication. If you are from a non-governmental organization (NGO) seed business or a private company that is producing seed, you may need to purchase breeder seed from a research institution. Breeder seed is the most expensive seed to buy.

As a private company or an NGO business you need breeder seed or foundation seed. Once again your interest is quality.

Foundation seed is the seed produced from growing breeder seed. It is produced by trained officers of an agricultural station to national standards and handled to maintain the genetic purity of the variety. It may be produced by a government seed production farm or a private organization – this will depend on the regulations of the country. Foundation seed is less expensive than breeder seed.

If your interest is to have quality seed to grow paddy, you will not be interested in buying breeder seed or foundation seed. You need registered seed or truthfully labeled seed.

What are these?

Registered seed is produced from growing foundation seed. It is grown by selected farmers in a way that maintains genetic purity. Production has undergone field and seed inspections by Seed Inspectors to ensure conformity with standards.

Certified seed is produced from growing foundation, registered or certified seed. It is grown by selected farmers to maintain sufficient varietal purity.  Production is subject to field and seed inspections prior to approval by the certifying agency. Harvest from this class is used for producing again.

Truthfully labeled seed or Quality Declared Seed  is produced from foundation, registered or certified seed. It is not subject to inspection by a certifying agency. As this seed is not inspected, its quality is dependent on the good reputation of the farmer who has grown the seed. His good name in the village is important.

Remember: whatever seed you choose, you need quality seed.

For Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Rice Research Institution (BRRI) may develop the variety. The nucleus seed and breeder seed are produced and maintained by BRRI. This seed is provided to another government agency, the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), to produce foundation seed and certified seed. BRRI may also provide breeder seed to the private sector or to non-government organizations (NGOs) to produce foundation seed. BADC, private seed companies or NGOs may then produce registered or certified or TLS seed to be purchased by farmers for growing grain.

In some cases, the production of foundation seed may be done by the breeder or breeding institution. For instance, in the case of the NERICA varieties that have been developed by the Africa Rice Center, the Africa Rice Center produces not only breeder seed but also through its network partner, the Africa Rice Initiative (ARI), it is producing foundation seed.

Bangladesh    Africa


Two examples of quality seed pathways to farmers. Click the above image to view the diagram.


In the following exercise you will choose what type of seed you need. Click here to answer.

Next lesson In the next lesson you will look at maintaining variety purity of nucleus stock. btn_backbtn_forward
Last Updated on Monday, 01 October 2012 10:14  

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