The challenge of farm-saved seeds:
What you sow is what you reap is a truth that farmers face everyday. Most of the wheat farmers in India depend on the farm-saved seeds for their next crop. Farm-saved seed generally suffers from admixtures of other varieties, contaminated with weeds & pests and continued use year after year results in loss in genetic vigour - impacting the product integrity, quality and productivity.
Farmers traditionally are dependent on public and private sector institutions for good quality seeds. Usually seed production and processing facilities are generally away from the villages resulting in high expenses and considerable time is wasted.
In order to provide a sustainable alternative for access to best quality seeds, ITC's wheat crop development programme is supporting farmers through informal community driven seed production programme. This village-level initiative provides quality seeds to farmers at affordable cost and in turn promotes self-reliance.
ITC facilitates identifying and training the seed growers coupled with establishing connect with various public and private agencies for accessing parent seed material and effective transfer of appropriate location-centric solutions.
Each seed production cluster services villages within a 50 km radius, with the following benefits to the stakeholders-
The Community Driven Seed Bank Programme is currently taken up across 4 states in around 1700 acres with a potential to service the seed requirement of 38,000 acres.