2007, pp 349-383

Quality Seed Production

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Abstract

Modern varieties are backbone of formal seed industry. The availability, access, and use of quality seed of adaptable crop varieties, are critical in increasing agricultural productivity, ensuring food security, and improving farmers livelihoods. However, research in legumes particularly lentil is relatively new compared to cereals both at IARCs and NARS (citeauthorch21:aw-hassan2003, citeyearch21:aw-hassan2003). The impact of investments in agricultural research can be realized only if farmers have better access to high quality seed of the new crop varieties. Since seed quality is one of the main factors that affects crop production potential it should reach farmers in a good quality state. Seed quality comprises many aspects where four key attributes are explicitly identified: genetic, physical, physiological and health quality. However, seed quality can be affected by environmental conditions under which the crop is grown and the cultural practices used for production. Maintaining seed quality is essential if the variety is to meet the expectation of farmers and consumers. Seed producers should be aware of the technical and regulatory requirements for growing a crop for seed, and ensure that all operations are carried out strictly under specific guidelines in a timely fashion. The quality of the seed can be ensured by following a combination of key technical procedures and regulatory measures. The quality control assurance system by establishing administrative guidelines and technical procedures plays a supervisory role for smooth operation and implementation of the program and for enforcing the regulatory measures to maintain the quality of seed produced. Limited choice of improved varieties, lack of sufficient quantity of seed, mechanization problems in developing countries, and high seed production costs, are some of the major constraints hindering the development of an effective and efficient lentil seed industry. This chapter covers key components such as variety maintenance and technical aspects of seed production, seed processing, seed storage, and seed quality assurance