Cotton Seed Scenario in India
Apr 16, 2019


The species composition of cotton in India is 40% hybrids, 30% Gossypium hirsutum, 30% G. arboreum and G. herbaceum with G. barbadense occupying a negligible area. Seed requirement on 100% Seed Replacement Rate is about 0.8 million quintals. Seed certification is voluntary under the Govt. of India Seed Act of 1966, so certified, truthfully label and market planting seeds of dubious quality are used. Seeds are produced and marketed by both Public and Private sector, the latter mostly involved in hybrid seed production. The Private Seed Industry has flourished since hybrids were developed of sorghum, pearl millet, maize, cotton etc. While the country is self sufficient in hybrid seeds, barely 30% of the varietal seeds are certified. Efforts are under way to augment the supply on Certified Seed of varieties both by the Public and Private sector seed producing agencies. Hand emasculation and pollination are the main constraints in producing diploid inter specific hybrid seed. Genetic male sterility has been identified for use in developing diploid hybrids to overcome this problem. Field techniques to ensure genetic purity of hybrid seeds are time consuming and costly. Genetic purity tests by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophorysis (PAGE) of seed protein can be substituted for field grow out tests to ensure timely supply of seed to growers.

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