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MoA Agency
 
Seed Certification Agency (SCA)

Introduction:

It has been internationally agreed that the Quality Seed production for various crops can be guaranteed under the banner of seed certification. Seed Certification and quality control, are integral and indispensable components of Seed technology. Seed Certification Agency is the only authorized body for quality control of all kinds of seeds in our country. The Seed Certification Agency was established in 1974 under Cereal Seed project as per provision of First Five Years plan (1973-78). The responsibility of this organization was limited only with the seeds produced by the public sector till Third Five Years Plan (1985- 90). In the Fourth Five Years Plan (1990- 95) its working jurisdiction was extended also to seed testing and certification of the seeds produced by private and NGO sector. Seed Certification Agency has been performing its role for full seed certification of four notified crops. (Rice, Wheat, Jute and Potato). The Agency certify and maintain seed quality through Field Inspection, Seed Testing and Variety Testing as per decision of the National Seed Board (NSB) and regulations Provided by the National Seed Policy, 1993, The Seeds (Amendment) Act, 1997 and Seed Rules 1998. At present there are three classes of Seeds (Breeder, Foundation and Certified) under the Seed Certification Program inn our country. Besides these, to make adequate quantities of quantity seeds available to the farmers, one more class of seed which is termed as Truthfully Labelled Seed (TLS). This kind of Seeds quality is maintained by SCA through market monitoring system.

Location of SCA Campus: The Organizational set up of SCA consists of the following three functional wings and a support service section. These are (i) Field Inspection wing (FIW) (ii) Seed Testing wing (STW) (iii) Variety Testing Wing (VTW) and (iv) Support service section. The SCA is headed by a Director who is assisted by the Principal Seed Certification officer in all sorts of technical and administrative matters relating to Seed Certification Program of the organization. There is a Wing Head in-charge of each technical wing. Designations of Technical Wings-heads are (i) Principal Field Control Officer (FIW) (ii) Chief Seed Technologist (STW) and (iii) Deputy Director (VTW), Under the Field Inspection Wing there are five Regional Field Offices which are located in Dhaka, Chittagong, Bogra, Jessore, Inshurdi and each region with a regional Field Officer in-charge of the region. There are 30 Field officers who work under Five Regional Field Officers, most of the Field Offices located in the seed producing and processing areas of BDC and other private/ NGO seed enterprises.


Under the Seed Testing Wing, there are two Seed Testing Laboratories of which one is the National Seed Testing Laboratory (NSTL) located at SCA Head Office, Gazipur. The other is the Regional Seed Testing Laboratory (RSTL) Located at Inshurdi, Pabna. The Variety Testing Wing has a Twelve hectors control farm attached to SCA Head Quarter for DUS, Pre-post control and grow out tests. this wing also involves to VCU test of Notified crops. The SCA is physically located in Gazipur. It is surrounded by other national apex agricultural research and training institutions like the Central Extension Resource Development Institute (CERDI) on its west, the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Bangladesh Agricultureal Research Institute (BARI) on the East Dhaka- Gazipur highway passes on the north, Regional Sugarcane Research Institute and BARI farm on the South. It is nearly 40 kilomertres away from Dhaka and is connected by pucca road with the capital city. The SCA campus provides a panoramic beauty with its Offices, National Seed Testing Laboratory (NSTL), Control Farm and residential apartment buildings.

Functions of Seed Certification Agency:



Service Providers:




Functions of Seed Certification Agency according to Seed (Amendment) Act, 1997 and Seed Rules 1998. In addition to the functions entrusted to the Certification Agency by the ordinance, the Agency shall-

(a) certify seed of any notified kinds or varieties,
   
(b) certify seed of other registered varieties.
   
(c) outline the procedures for growing, processing, storage and labelling of seeds intended for certification and to ensure that the seed lots finally approved for certification are true to the variety and confirm to the standard regarding the germination percentage, purity percentage, moisture contents and such other components of seed quality for certification under these rules:
   
(d) verify, upon receipt of an application for certification of any kind or variety of seed, that the seed source used for planting was authenticated by the Certification Agency and the record of purchase is in accordance with these rules and the fees have been paid;
   
(e) inspect fields to ensure that the minimum standards for insulation, rouging, if necessary, and other factors specific to the kind or variety are maintained at all times, as well as ensure that seed borne diseases are not present in the field to a greater extent than those provided in the standards for certification,
   
(f) inspect seed procession plants to see that the admixtures of other kinds and varieties are not introduced;
   
(g) ensure that field inspection, seed processing plant inspection, analysis of samples and issue of certificate, including marking, labeling and sealing, are taken expeditiously;
   
(h) monitor by post control sampling procedures the seeds quality as declared on the labes of seed containers offered for sale by seed Dealers and feed back results to the Seed Dealers to create awareness about quality;
   
 

Finally the field officers make a comparison between their observed values in the field and the values of field standards of different crops fixed by National seed Board (NSB), which is shown in appendix-1. They accept the field for certification, when the observed values come in conformity with the standard values, otherwise the fields are rejected.Seed Certification Procedure of SCA;To perform the working activities, the agency has three wings viz. Field Inspection, Seed Testing and Variety Testing. The Working procedure of these wings are described below:

1. Field Inspection Wing
Field Inspection Wing is an important wing headed by Principal Field Control Officer (PFCO). There are 4 ( four) regional and 30 (thirty) Field Offices in different seed growing areas through out the country. Regional field officer supervise and monitor over all activities of the field Officers. The fields Officers certify the public, private and NGO;s sector seed growing plots through field inspection in such a ways-

(i) Verifying the Seed Source.
(ii) Verifying isolation distance.
(iii) Timely Inspect the seed growing plots to metup field standard
(iv) Suggest to roughing operations properly,

Roles and Responsibilities of SCA according to Seed Policy, 1993.

* Advise NSB denotification of varieties for reasons of poor performance or disease and pest susceptibility;
* Help Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in the promotion and use of improved seed of HYVs among farmers;
* Collect samples of truthfully labeled seeds throughout the country and check their declared standards through oppropriate tests.
The SCA has been entrusted with the responsibility to ensure supply of certified quality seeds to farmer. In doing so, the major focus of its responsibility was centred around the activities like field inspection for quality seed production, seed testing and issue of tags for all certified seeds. However, under the strengthening project of SCA its expanded roles include activities as follows:
* Advise seed producers on production, processing and quality control of seeds;
* Carry out post market quality control through inspection, testing.
* Collect data/ information on seed production, procession and quality control for use by the National Seed Board (NSB);
* Certify all breeder and Foundation Seeds of controlled crops;
* Certify seeds for seed enterprises as a services;
* Coordinate the variety evaluation and release mechanism for Notified crops;

   
(i) carry out varietal description activities as a part of DUS tests (distinctness, uniformity and stability), and co-ordinate and organize multilocation trials for performance testing or varieties (VCU- value for cultivation and uses);
   
(j) review and recommend from time to time minimum standards of seeds quality of different crops
   
(k) carry out educational programmes designed to promote the production of certified seed including a publication listing seed Dealers and sources of certified seed;
   
(l) maintain such records as may be necessary to verify that seed plated for the production of certified seed were eligible for such planting under these rules.
   
(m) advise the Board on the denotification of varieties for reasons of poor performance or disease and pest susceptibility.
   

2. Variety Testing Wing
Variety Testing wing is carrying out DUS (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability) and VCU (Value for Cultivation and test) test. DUS test is essential for recognizing, distinguishing and describing a variety. The central theme is identification of a variety through the use of some parameters of characterization.

DUS test is being carried out in many countries of the world. In our country sine 1998, this test has been made as a part of the variety release mechanism. The ultimate benefit of DUS test will center around plant Breeders Rights and Specially Plant variety Protection in view of the globalization of agribusiness. the international Union for the Protection of New varieties of Plants (UPOV) provides the procedure for conducting DUS test should be different for each species. Testing a variety for Value of Cultivation and its Uses (VCU) is also needed to evaluated newly developed varieties with regards to agricultural performance such as yield, fertilizer requirement, insect-pest resistance tests, grain size, cooking quality, storability etc. In addition to this in a routine work performs pre-post control and Grow out test as an internal quality control system. this wing also involves to co-ordinate technical committee meeting, field evaluation and variety release system.

3. Seed Testing Wing
Seed testing wing is also an important wing comprising of (i) National Seed Testing Laboratory, Gazipur is headed by CST, (ii) Regional Seed Testing Laboratory (RSTL) Ishurdi, pabna is headed by Agronomist. Purity, Germination, Mosture and other tests are conducted by 6 seed Analysts in two laboratories. Seed Analysts are fully responsible to analysis the Seed samples which are collected from public, private and NGO's sector as well as market monitoring samples. Chief seed technologist supervise and monitor the over all activities of seed analysts. Actually seed testing wing involving to assurance of quality seeds. If the test result of the sample comes in a close conformity with the seed standard fixed by NSB, the representing seed lots of processing centers are accepted for certification., In case of sub-standard value of test result, the seed lots are rejected.

In addition to this the field officers pay to regular visit to the threashing floor, procession centre, seed lots arrangement, collect sample and infix Certification tag after getting satisfactory results from the seed testing laboratory. This wing is also involved in maintaining quality control of all sorts of seeds through market monitoring system.

Conclusion

Seed is the foundation of agriculture. With the use of certified quality seeds in the normal cultivation practices, yield of crops may be increased up to 10-15%. In order to co-ordinate the use of increased quality seed and ensure its production, supply and distribution, the SCA is striving hard to extend its collaboration anmd assistance in the total system of seed Certification and Quality Control in the country through.

* Implementation of the appropriate National Seed Policy,
* Development and implementation of the seed legislation system and international seed regulations.
* Improvement of technical know-how, skills by imparting training, visits and organizing seminars, workshops, symposium, etc. on seed activities.
* Implementation of the on going SCA-SID strengthening project.

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