Introduction on how to start a certified seed production business in India
Are you willing to start a certified seed production business? Production and selling certified seed is a highly attractive business nowadays. However, you can have the optimum earnings if you grow the seeds in your own space.
Generally, a certified seed production business comprises many different steps. These range from procuring good quality foundation seed, duplication, and seed processing. Actually, the seed is a basic agricultural feed. Also, biologically it is referred to as an embryo, embedded in the food storage tissue. The seed is also known as a mature ovule. Basically, it consists of an embryonic plant with storage of food and covered by a protective seed coat.
A step by step guide to start a seed production business in India
Presently, the seed is one of the biggest industries in the segment of the agricultural input. Broadly, it comprises various institutions and organizations. The list contains Government institutions, Research and academic laboratories, Public sector organizations, and academic institutions, and others. Apart from the Government sector, approximately 150 large private seed companies nationwide are included in seed production. Some of the popular and major Government agencies are:
- Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Seed Certification
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
- State Agricultural Universities (SAU)
- National Seeds Corporation (NSC)
- State Farm Corporation of India (SFCI)
- 15 State Seed Corporations (SSC)
- 22 State Seed Certification Centers
- 104 notified Seed Testing Laboratories
Quality control in a certified seed production business
Usually, the seeds that have good germination capacity and vigor are considered as the best quality seeds. Moreover, good quality seeds are not having any insect damage and infestation by any pathogens like bacteria and fungi. Also, the quality seeds come along with physical purity of 96-98%. They are uniform in size and shape do not have any damage.
Seeds with high moisture content are deprived of germination vigor and viability in a short period. Thus, it is essential to maintain the correct moisture content in seeds to have a good germination capacity and viability.
Germination capacity of a seed lot means the capacity of the seeds in a lot to germinate normally and provide all parts of a healthy seedling and grow properly. The necessary parts of the seedling comprise well developed primary roots, a young pair of leaves, and one or two cotyledons.
Basic steps to start a certified seed production business in India
Business plan on how to start a certified seed production business
Actually, certified seed production could be a serious venture. And it comprises many steps from production to selling. And a minor mistake in the entire process will lead to complete loss. So, you should plan and execute properly and keep efforts in crafting the business plan in a proper way.
First of all, verify how much quantity of certified seed you desire to produce. And then estimate the land requisite. If you have your own land then it is good, otherwise, you can plan for contract farming also. Moreover, take care of financial planning. Your financial cost analysis should include the charges related to procuring inputs, workers, and other expenditures. Also, estimate the ROI.
Investment for starting a certified seed production business
It required Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 8 lakhs to start a small-scale seed production business in developing countries like India. So, the costs include for workers, procuring inputs, packaging, testing, and other miscellaneous charges.
Select the area or location for starting the seed production business
You must choose a suitable land for seed production for a specific crop. Generally, you require medium to deep and well-drained light soils. The sandy soils or waterlogged soils are not recommended at all. Actually, this type of soil will impact crop growth and thereby decrease seed yields.
Make sure that the land is comparatively free from insect pests or soil-borne pathogens, and noxious weed seeds. At last, check the irrigation provision and isolation requisites.
This is one of the primary criteria you must fulfill in this business. Usually, space isolation is referred to as the minimum distance you should keep between the seed plot and neighboring plot of the same crop. Mainly, it is done to avoid natural cross-pollination and physical contamination.
When you grow the seed in isolation, it will take care that there is no cross-pollination. Broadly, you can isolate the seed plot in two methods. One is time isolation and the other one is space isolation. For different seed crops, there are particular isolation distances. And you must maintain prescribed isolation distance on all sides of the seed crop.
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Seed plot registration with district seed certification officer
When you offer the seed plot for certification, you must register the said plot for certification with District Seed Certification Officer. And to get this, you must submit an application along with an agreement bond on a stamp paper of Rs.100/ duly notarized or registered with the Taluka magistrate.
Process to obtain good quality seeds
The next step is obtaining a good quality seed. Actually, you must obtain an appropriate and proper class of the seed through approved sources according to stages of seed multiplication.
In the case of foundation seed, you must use the breeder seed with a yellow or buff-colored tag for sowing while for certified seed production, you must have certified foundation seed with a white tag. You must take care that the seed bags are intact with lead seals not damaged or removed. Properly reserve the empty bags and the tags until you have the certification of your seeds.
Cultivation practice and plant protection
These are very common things one must take care of. You should provide proper care and management to get a proper stand of seed crop and hence higher seed yields. Some of the most essential considerations are proper land preparation, use of optimum seed rate with appropriate sowing, watering, manuring, etc. In addition to that, you must control pests and diseases.
As per the provisions of seed certification, seed certification agencies examine the seed plots offered for certifications. And as the seed producer, you must abide by the instructions laid by the field inspector. Actually, you should maintain the prescribed genetic and physical purity of the seed plot. Or else, carelessness on part of the seed producer might cause rejection of seed plot from certification.
Harvesting and processing seeds
You must harvest the seed at the appropriate stage of maturity and only after authorization is granted by the field inspector. After initial threshing and drying, you must seal the bag of raw seeds with the permission of the certification agency.
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Finally, the seeds require proper processing: Generally, the ‘seed lot’ is accepted for processing where it is categorized into three samples. One sample is kept for seed testing laboratory for testing purposes, the next one is used as a sample for his disposal, and the other sample is maintained for the concerned seed producer. After getting an optimistic report from the seed testing laboratory, you should pack the processed and treated seed. In addition to that, you must attach the suitable tags issued by the seed certification officer.
Process of seed labeling for certified seed production in India
- Label number
- Lot number
- Inspected date, month, and year
- Expiry date, month, and year
- Germination percentage (minimum)
- Physical purity (minimum)
- Genetic purity (minimum)
- Net weight
- Organic certification logo
- Organic seed producer label
Profit margin in seed production business in India
Initially, the profit margin will be low, and later after your product brand gets established because of quality the profits will be in a higher range. You can expect 25-30% of profits in the later stages. Better to start the business on a small-scale. You need to provide quality products so that farmers will have the trust and the production and profitability will be increased.
The conclusion of certified seed production business
Basically, in developing countries, certified seed production is an attractive business opportunity for businessmen. However, the business requires proper planning, commitment, and inclination to work long periods.
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