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Developments in the Indian seed industry and their impact on access and use of commercial seed by farmers have been examined. Various types of seed systems such as hybrids, self-pollinated crops, vegetatively propagated crops, crops with high seed volume, etc have been analysed. It has been shown that the commercial seed markets for hybrids are well developed, but these need improving flow of information to farmers and effective regulation of unscrupulous traders, etc. There are significant changes in terms of seed regulations, management of GM crops and protection of intellectual property. Since all these regulations are mutually enforcing, there is a need for developing institutional capacity for their enforcement, as well as flexibility to learn from the experience for future adaptation. There is a lot of scope for strengthening the seed system of ‘orphan crops’, where there is no participation of the private sector, and the public seed system is facing several resource and institutional constraints. In particular, there is a need for technological backstopping, developing partnerships with private and civil society organisations, and developing capacity at the local level. The results of farm surveys have shown that increasing proportion of farmers use commercial seed for quality considerations. The study has argued that there is a problem with variety selection, particularly of proprietary hybrids, due to lack of information, which has resulted into poor crop performance on several occasions.


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