Status of Seed production in Nagaland: Scope and opportunities

DJ Rajkhowa, LK Baishya, H Verma, Romen Sharma and T Jamir

ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region Nagaland Centre

Nagaland is known for its rich natural resources and biodiversity. The state is bestowed with favourable soil and climatic condition. However, due to varied physiographic, inaccessibility and poor infrastructure, the potentialities of crop and livestock productivity is yet to be realised. More than 75% of the rainfall (2000mm) is concentrated during the period of June-September which constraints on seed production, crop intensification and diversification. Small and fragmented land holding, poor investment capacity and lack of adequate knowledge among farmers and field level workers about improved seed production technologies further accentuate the problems of poor productivity and profitability of agriculture sector. The informal seed system dominates the seed supply in Nagaland. Farmers of Nagaland use their own saved seed of local land races for production or buy uncertified/poor quality seed material from local vendors due to non-availability of quality seed material on time. The Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) of crops is very low (below 10% in rice in the valley of Nagaland), which led to low productivity in all crops. Farm mechanisation is also yet to start for reducing drudgery to the farmers and timely ensuring agriculture practices. Therefore, a systematic and holistic approach for appropriate blending of seed technology demonstration, capacity building and linkage establishment will go a large way in transforming rural economy to a profitable seed enterprise.

ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Nagaland Centre has been taking massive training and demonstration programme along with the five KVKs (Dimapur, Peren, Wokha, Longleng and Kiphire) for introduction of location specific improved crop varieties and production of quality seed production in farmers’ participatory approach (Table 1). The centre with its KVKs has also been providing weather forecasting and agro advisory services to the farming community for overall development of agriculture in the state. Extensive training and demonstration programmes have also been conducted on participatory seed/planting material production.

There are only 3 state seed farm in Nagaland to cater the need of seed demand to different stakeholder in the state

o State seed farm Merapani: The farm has an area of 534 ha. The farm is engaged in production of paddy, other cereals, pulses, oilseeds and spices seeds of improved varieties.

o Seed farm Tizit: the farm has an area of 70 ha. And at present producing. The farm is producing mainly Paddy seed. Beside paddy the farm is also producing mustard, linseed, gram etc.

o Regional Potato seed farm Helipong: The farm has a total area of 180 ha. The farm is at present producing disease and virus free potato seed.

State level seed organizations putting efforts for quality seed availability to the farmers for agricultural production but these basic necessities had not yet come up in the NEH states. The system of usage of certified seeds from sources outside the region could not progress due to various reasons viz., Earliness of crop seasons than in the mainland, unsuitability of outside varieties, delay and high cost in transport, lack of proper seed demand forecasting for the small and marginal farmers of the region, and lack of awareness of seed availability in the remote rural areas.

Intervention of ICAR, Nagaland Centre:

Evaluation of rice germplam and improved lines:

Two hundred fifty (250) of upland rice germplasm were evaluated for drought tolerance. Among all the germplasm Marichitpi (35.84q/ha) Leimaphou (34.84q/ha) and Kemenya (30.51q/ha) found promising for drought tolerance. A total no of 86 upland rice germplasm were evaluated for yield and yield attributes ICAR PB (Umiam) lines, IVT (M) 2805 recorded highest yield (4.8 t/ha), followed by Aaha (4.5 t/ha). A total no of 422 lowland rice germplasm were evaluated for their yield performance. TRC 2016-383 recorded highest yield of 7.0 t/ha followed by TRC 2016-439 (6.8 t/ha) and among ICAR PB (Umiam) lines, NKGA 109 recorded highest yield (6.1 t/ha), followed by Adivashi (6.0 t/ha). Wonder rice x Shahsarang-1 Wonder rice x RCM-20 Wonder rice x IET 17278 crosses was made and breeding lines are in F-7 generation stage.

Farmers participatory seed production:

ICAR Nagaland Centre has been playing an important role in production and supply of quality seed materials of various crops in the state, in order to enhance the crop productivity. The centre has taken up initiatives for promoting quality seed production through farmers’ participatory seed production under ICAR Seed Project. The centre is promoting location specific improved varieties of rice, toria, soybean, green gram, black gram, linseed, groundnut and sesame to minimize yield gap. The centre is striving hard for farming community to have timely access to quality seed at an affordable price for improving crop productivity and farm profitability (table 1).

Truthfully levelled Seed produced through farmer’s participatory approach