Seed testing lab to strengthen quality of seed chain

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Timely availability of quality seed to farmers top priority: Dir Agri Kashmir

SRINAGAR: One of the major issues holding back JK’s agriculture production is that a big number of farmers lack access to good quality seed, this was stated by Director Agriculture Kashmir, Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi here on Tuesday. He said from last few years the department was ‘relentlessly’ working to address the various issues facing the farming community, because “we have to tackle the challenge of shrinking agriculture land and feeding an alarmingly increasing population”.

He said the establishment of seed testing laboratory is one of the steps taken in this direction.

Agriculture Department Kashmir has re-established an advanced Seed Testing Laboratory, for testing of seeds at Lalmandi Srinagar. Director Agriculture Kashmir, Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi on Tuesday visited the lab, which was devastated by the 2014 floods.

After its renovation and re-establishment the lab has been equipped with latest facilities and equipments like “Laboratory Aspirator, Seed Divider, Seed Germinator, Biological Oxygen Demand, Hot Air Oven, Stereoscopic Microscope, etc.; to keep pace with the world standards vis-a-vis quality parameters and genetic purity.

Director Agriculture, according to an official handout, said that “seed is one of the most important inputs, and largely is a decisive indicator of a good crop”; therefore, “timely availability of good quality seed to the farmers is department’s top priority”.

He said that the seed-testing lab would be able to detect adulteration of seeds, which will prove helpful in initiating action against adulteration.

Andrabi said that seed testing lab is an essential establishment in seed certification and seed quality control programmes and is aimed to serve both the producer as well as consumer.

He said, “The role of the modern seed-testing laboratory is more than just germination tests. It not only allows a grower to reduce the chances of crop disease issues, but it helps better utilisation of nutrient inputs, so the grower can apply what the crop requires,” Andrabi said.