A seed is a fertilized matured ovule covered with a seed coat and is a part of propagating material. Thus, seed is the most vital and crucial input in agriculture upon which other inputs are applied. A good quality seed utilizes all the resources and gives a reasonable output. Some characteristics of quality seed are; It must be genetically pure, it should have required level of physical purity, free from diseases, high germination and vigour, optimum moisture content.
Global health issue covid-19 has the potential to seriously affect the production certification, distribution, and cost of seeds which play a vital role in agricultural sectors. A seed is a key component to support our food system ensuring food security and nutrition of the people worldwide. High-quality seeds are the major inputs that drive improvements in agricultural productivity. Before covid-19 hit the world, the problems encountered in the seed sectors were lack of promotion and advertising campaigns, lack of research, and varieties development.
But the problems to seed sector in the present scenario of COVID is:
Almost this pandemic, several restrictions on the movement from country to country and within a place to place to ensure less spread of the virus, have put forth a situation of the downfall of economy and conditions of food insecurity. Most particularly developing countries like ours have been especially hit hard by the economic downturn as we are mostly reliant on agriculture as a main source of economy.
- The price of transportation has hiked after the pandemic struck, so the cost of transportation is added to the seed’s price making the seeds more expensive to purchase and not everyone can afford it. So, this is also an obstacle in the seed access.
- The governments of different countries are at least trying to keep open trading due to which food grains and seeds can be exchanged, but in developing countries like ours, high-quality seeds of preferred varieties are least produced and mostly imported, any blockade in imports can adversely affect the production trend of crops as we are compelled to use of local seeds without any authentic knowledge on seed quality.
- In this terrifying situation where, social distancing is a must, people are gathering without taking necessary health precautions to ask for seeds due to which the seed providers hesitate to keep the seed banks open which is hampering seed availability.
- Several community seed banks are running out of stocks.
- Seed production activities still receive lower priority as compare to food production and due to lack of awareness
Following solutions can be put into action in the present scenario of COVID-19 pandemic:
To overcome any problem, a proper plan and its implementation are very crucial.
- Transportation facilities must be managed for such requirements with application of proper safety
- Strict rules and punishment should be implemented to those involved in black marketing during this crisis.
- Encouraging farmers by providing adequate subsidies and knowledge about the quality of seeds so that they can distinguish between good and bad ones.
- Access to safe and sanitized healthy seed stocks in agriculture.
B.Sc. Ag, 4th Semester
IAAS, Lamjung Campus