Centre alerts states, business to be vigilant about ‘mystery seed parcels’

New Delhi, August 8

The Centre has alerted state governments in addition to the seed business and analysis our bodies to be vigilant about “suspicious/unsolicited seed parcels” from unknown sources coming into into India which generally is a menace to the nation’s biodiversity.

A directive on this regard has been issued, the agriculture ministry stated as in the previous couple of months hundreds of suspicious seed shipments have been reported the world over.

The menace of “unsolicited/suspicious seed parcels with mislabelled packages from unknown sources” was reported in lots of nations just like the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Japan and a few European nations, it stated.

 The ministry additionally talked about that “the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) termed it as “brushing scam” and “agriculture smuggling”.

The USDA has additionally reported that the unsolicited seeds parcels might comprise seeds of alien invasive species or an try and introduce pathogens or illness that will pose critical menace to the setting, agriculture ecosystem and nationwide safety, it added.

The agriculture ministry stated unsolicited/thriller seed parcels generally is a menace to biodiversity of India.

Therefore, all state departments of agriculture, state agriculture universities, seed associations, state seed certification businesses, seed companies, Indian Council of Agriculture vis-a-vis their crop primarily based analysis institutes are directed to be “vigilant” concerning the suspicious seed parcels, it said.

Commenting on the directive, Federation of Seed Industry of India Director General Ram Kaundinya in an announcement stated, “Right now it is only an alert for a possible spread of plant diseases through seeds coming from unauthorised sources without orders. Seed terrorism is too big a word to use for it. There are limitations to what diseases a seed can carry. But nevertheless, it is a threat.”  He stated that these seeds could possibly be of an invasive species or weed which if established in Indian setting will compete or displace native species.

“It’s best to proactively work to avoid their release than to have to bear huge costs for controlling them in future. All of us should be careful not to use any seed coming from unknown sources.”  Plant quarantine and customs checks at ports and airports must be stringent. This state of affairs may be dealt with via vigilance and by following precautions, he stated.

“People in the US have received such unsolicited packets and subsequently, the USDA issued an alert. We should not plant seeds that have come to us unsolicited and destroy them immediately,” Kaundinya added. — PTI

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