Organic seed production-Issues and strategies – The Sangai Express

November 12, 2022


L Meghachandra Singh
The first International Conference on Organic Seeds, held in Rome in 2004, concluded with recommendations:
1. Networking to provide training, workshops and materials for the integration of seed production in ecological holistic farming systems.
2. Creating sample seeds for school and community food gardens with seed saving and activities.
3 Enhancing the biodiversity of landraces of food crops and the on-farm biodiversity of native plants for beneficial insect pollinators and predators of insect pests through seed banks seed exchange and farmers’ seed crops.
4. Support breeding on participating farms to select and improve local, locally adapted varieties for desirable traits such as resistance to local diseases and pests, flavor and nutrition.
5. Collect, document and share local knowledge on organic seed treatment.
6. Disseminate activities at the annual conference and on the associated website.
Organic culture is not new to mankind. Some cultural practices have already been reported by various authorities for organic seed production, but fully proven specific packages for different varieties/crops should be standardized for the region incorporating all available local technologies/practices and information. In the context of the Northeast, it requires proper identification and evaluation of organic production and which crops will be preferred for what purpose (based on demand groups: either for the local market or for export). Local markets may not have very strict IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture) requirements and conventional or traditional seeds and planting materials may be used. However, we want to export especially low-volume high-value goods, organic production must strictly comply with the requirements of IFOAM, and the seeds to be used must also be certified organic. Hence the development of organic varieties (requiring less organic rice seed production).
Soil type
Alluvial soil, sandy loam and clay soil types are suitable for rice cultivation
Seed rate
The amount of organic rice seeds required per hectare of land under different situations is given below.
· Transplantation of short-term variety (90-110 days) -60-70 kg
Medium-term variety (110-125 days) transplant – 40-60 kg
· Long-term variety (over 125 days) transplant – 30-40 kg
· Dry and wet planting -90-100 kg
Seed treatment
· Separation of quality seeds: Non-viable/unfilled seeds can be separated by floating in water. Salt or eggs can be used to increase the density of water. This can be avoided if certified seed is used.
· Treatment of seeds with Pseudomonas: 750 g of pseudomonas can be mixed with one liter of cooled rice porridge. Germinated seeds are spread on the cemented floor. Pseudomonas extract can be sprinkled on the germinated seeds and mixed well.
Preparation of kindergarten
700-800 square meters of nursery area is required for cultivation in one hectare. The land should be plowed 6-8 times and neem leaves/Artemesia/Vitex should be given as basal manure. For high yielding varieties, 2.5 kg of neem cake should be applied as basal manure. For high yielding varieties, 2.5 kg of neem cake should be applied per cent of the nursery stock. Then, the germinated seeds should be sown in the nursery. In order not to damage the roots, 45-50 kg of plaster should be applied to the nursery before removing the seedlings from the roots.
Preparation of the main area
Green manure seed should be sown in the main area. Green manure plants should be plowed into the soil when they are 45-60 days old. The main area should be well plowed and leveled 6-8 times.
Basal manure
i) Farm manure: 12-15 tons/ha
ii) Poultry waste: 5 tons/ha
iii) Vermicompost: 5 tons/ha
Any of the above manures should be given at the time of last ploughing.
iv) 100-120 kg neem cake should be applied as basal manure.
v) 10% Amirthakaraisal should be sown before transplanting. Otherwise, 800-1200 liters of Amirthakaraisal water should be mixed with 1 ha of land and irrigated.
Application of biofertilizers
5 kg of Azospirillum or 5 kg of phosphobacteria should be mixed with 75 kg of sand or compost and spread on the field.
· It is necessary to plant 1-3 seedlings per hill.
Short-lived variety: 5 x 10 cm
Medium-term variety: 20 x 10 cm
Long-term variety: 20 x 15 cm
Cultivation of Azolla or Blue Green Algae
Azolla or Blue Green Algae should be sprayed on the field 5-10 days after transplanting. After 25 days and 45-50 days of sowing, the area should be dried and the algae should be stamped into the soil.
Top Dressing
After weeding, 25 kg of neem cake or groundnut cake should be applied as top dressing. 120-150 kg of vermicompost or 120 kg of bone meal can be applied as top dressing. For medium and long duration varieties, 75 kg of groundnut cake should be applied as a top dressing 50-60 days after planting.
Method of sprinkling Panchakavya
For coarse varieties, a spray of 3% panchakavya should be given at planting and opening stage. For fine varieties, a spray of 3% panchakavya should be given at the opening stage.
Pest and Disease Control
Proper management measures should be taken for certain pest and disease attacks.
Keeping neem cake bags in irrigation canals
Neem cake bags can be placed in the irrigation canal. This should be maintained until the product reaches the milky stage.
Placing BirdPerches
After the crop acquires a dark green color, about 25-27 birdhouses should be placed per hectare of the field. The bird perch should be 2-3 feet above the crop level. Perches should be removed after the crop reaches the planting stage.
Closure of trichogram cards
The egg card of Trichogramma japonicum parasitoid should be attached to the crop from the 25th day after transplanting. This should be done three times with an interval of 15 days (i.e. on days 25, 40 and 55).
Using pheromone traps
Male yellow-bodied butterflies can be attracted and trapped using pheromone traps. About 3 pheromone traps should be placed in one hectare. This trap should be 2 feet above the crop level.
Using light traps
After the crop turns dark green, about 8 light traps should be placed per acre. The light trap should be 2-3 feet above the crop level.
Water Management
Rice crop requires continuous irrigation. At least one inch of water should stagnate in the field.
The grains should be harvested after they turn yellow.
Organic seed storage
Along with organic ways of seed production, seeds need to be stored properly and managed only organically without any chemical treatments or fumigants. Proper drying below 12% humidity before and during storage, treatment with local botanicals like Artemesia, Vitex fumigants combined Goniothalamus and Plectranthus are considered beneficial. If neem products are available, the seeds can be mixed with neem seed kernel/leaf powders before storing. Regular drying, cleaning, etc. during storage. inspections should be carried out.
In general, although the production packages of organic seeds in many crops are yet to be defined (except for a few crops), they can be almost similar to conventional seeds, except for the restriction on the use of inorganic chemicals (fertilizers/pesticides). , GM seeds, hybrids with male sterility. Of these, plant protection is the most important component in quality seed production.


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