National Mission on Seeds
To ensure easy availability of high-quality certified seeds at reasonable price to farmers, the agriculture ministry has launched the National Mission on Seeds for the 12th Plan Period. The approval to this mission was given in April 2012. The total mission cost is Rs. 3,773.40 crore for five years. This mission has not yet started so no amount has been sanctioned so far for it. At present, private sector contributes 40 per cent of the total seed supply in the country estimated to be around 350 lakh quintals every year. Lack of high-quality certified seeds both for cereals and also for fruits and vegetables along with their poor replacement ratio have been one of the main drawbacks of Indian agriculture. Demands have kept rising, though there has been progress to continued efforts to improve research and development of newer and better varieties of seeds. As per government estimates in the 2010-11 crop marketing year, the country’s seed availability exceeded demand by around 23.21 lakh quintals, while in the current crop marketing year supplies were more than the demand by an equal amount. The National Seed Plan framed in 2005 had assessed that India would need an overall 258 lakh quintals of seeds annually in the next five years.