High quality seed is fundamental to the farming business. Most annual crops are established each season from seeds, and seed quality has a major impact on potential crop yield. Seeds can serve as the delivery system not only for improved genetics but for new planting and production methods.
And also crop protection strategies that improve the overall efficiency of agriculture and reduce its environmental impact. The purity of any commercial product propagated by seed begins with the genetic purity of the seed planted.
The Production of quality rice seed is one of the major areas taken for granted by rice farmers, this is because farmers realize crop growth even from traditional seed. However, the benefit of good seed does not stop at crop growth but also to grain quality and yield
Production of high-quality rice seed is an exacting task thus seed producers take many steps to protect genetic integrity of the seed. Such steps include ensuring the integrity of their planting seed, properly identifying and labeling plants and fields, planting seeds on clean land which has not been used to grow the same crop in the recent past, removing rogue plants, or plants which are not true to the variety’s characteristics, and employing physical isolation. (To read on rice production click https://www.agriculturenigeria.com/farming-production/crop-production/crops/rice )
CLASSIFICATION OF RICE SEED
This is a genetically pure seed without any impurities. They are obtained from a handful of healthy plants growing in a plot and then grown strictly in isolation. This seed is the basis of a variety and is known as the Nucleus Stock. This nucleus stock must be managed with great care so that all seed produced from it remains true to the new variety. All physical observations such as plant size, growth features, colour, shape of various plants, days taken in maturity etc are taken into account and recorded.
This is the most important phase in the seed development because any erroneous selection of the nuclear seed plants would adversely affect the further generation. After selection, the seeds are obtained and threshed separately. The nucleus stock seed is not available to farmers. These seeds are properly packed and re-grown to get the breeder seeds.
A breeder seed is an offspring of a nucleus seed. The breeder seed are produced by mutual multiplication of 3 different lines which are denoted by A line, B line and R line. A line is a female while B and R lines are male sterile. The seeds from offspring with the best and desired quality are selected and certified as Breeder seeds, such seeds are protected by legal rights called Breeder’s Right.
Breeder seed is the seed of the highest purity of the new variety. It is produced by the breeder and provided by the breeder’s institution or agencies for further multiplication. If you are from a non-governmental organization (NGO) seed business or a private company that is producing seed, you may need to purchase breeder seed from a research institution. Breeder seed is the most expensive seed to buy.
Foundation Seeds are offspring of breeder seeds which can be clearly traced to the breeder seed. They are seed produced from growing breeder seed. It is produced from trained officers of an agricultural institution or agency and must follow national standards and handled carefully to maintain the genetic purity of the variety.
It may be produced by a government seed production farm or a private organization. Foundation seed is less expensive than breeder seed. Foundation seeds are further reproduced to give rise to certified seeds. The production of foundation seeds must be acceptable to a certification agency.
This is the progeny of the foundation seed approved and certified by a certifying agency and is suitable to produce certified seed.
Registered seed is produced from growing foundation seed. It is grown by selected farmers in a way that maintains genetic purity. Production has undergone field and seed inspections by Seed Inspectors to ensure conformity with standards.
Source;Micheal okunoye via linkedIn
This is the last stage which actually reaches the farmer. Certified seed is the progeny of foundation seed and it is grown by selected farmers to maintain sufficient varietal purity.
Production is subject to field and seed inspections prior to approval by the certifying agency. Harvest from this class is used for producing again.
WHY GOOD RICE SEED?
The importance of a farmer planting a good seed cannot be over emphasized because a good seed determines the harvest yield at the end of the farming season. The following are some of the reasons why a farmer must use good rice seed for farming;
The use of good rice seed guarantees varietal purity, that is, other varieties and off-types are guaranteed to be minimized. The guarantee sterns out of the fact that certified seeds uses strictly monitored quality management systems to maximize varietal purity
GURANTEED QUALITY ASSURANCE
The farmer is assured of good quality if he uses good rice seed for farming. Your seed is what you expect it to be and giving you a backup to assuring others.
ACCESS TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Using Certified seed can open the door to new opportunities and greater sales by providing officially recognized proof of your parent seed varietal identity.
Food safety and traceability are important considerations in agriculture. You can only be sure of your product if you know its origins. Certified seed is the key to that knowledge because production of certified seed used by farmers is done under a carefully controlled system from the beginning. Using Certified seed for your farming will allow you to capitalize on traceability measures.
Improved traits such as better yield, pest resistance, drought tolerance, herbicide tolerance, and much more are delivered to farmers in Certified seed. Years of research and development went into these traits and they can only be reliably accessed through certified seed.
SUBSTANCE BEHIND YOUR WORD
When farmers used good quality seed to cultivate their farm they give assurance to grain buyers and others that what they are delivering is what it is.
MAXIMIZE OTHER INPUTS
Planting a good rice seed means that the farmer would not be wasting time and inputs on seed that will not produce as require. To make the most out of your farming inputs, a farmer must use seed with the best genetics and cleanest fields.
INCREASE PRODUCTION YIELD
Planting of good rice seed enhances increase in production yield at the end of the farming season. When a farmer sows good quality seed, it will lead to increase in yield up to 5 – 20%
ACCESS TO PREMIUM MARKETS
Certified seed is the only input that can get you more than just higher yields. It can be your ticket to premium markets because of high quality of the harvest from planting certified seed. When a farmer uses a good quality seed he will have more uniformed sizes in the grains and this will in turn give good market value for the harvest.
A BETTER DEAL ON CROP INSURANCE
In some cases, when a farmer knows he is using a quality certified seed for planting it allows him/her to get a better deal on crop insurance premiums. This is because Insurers know that quality certified seed means a crop with reduced risk.
In conclusion, it becomes very imperative that a farmer should not just plant grains as seeds if he/she wants to have a good yield, good quality harvest and make more money. A farmer should take out time and find out the various institution and agencies that can help him/her to achieve good success in the farming business.
In Nigeria, the National Agricultural Seed Council is saddled with the responsibility to monitor and certified seeds that meet the laid down standard. They uphold the responsibility to build a market driven seed Industry for the production and distribution of high quality and improved planting materials that are available, accessible and affordable to all farmers.