Kolkata: The West Bengal government has launched a "State Seed Mission" to cater to 65 per cent of the state`s seed demand in the next five years.
The initiative, claimed to be the first of its kind in the country, involves coordination among the nodal department, departments of animal resources development and horticulture and research institutes.
"At present, we are able to meet only about 40 percent of our seed requirements through internal sources and have to buy the remaining from other states. Through this pioneering initiative, we are targeting to increase our seed production by five percent every year," Agricultural Marketing Minister Arup Roy told.
He said a committee comprising stakeholders is being constituted to provide a roadmap for the mission.
"The committee comprising experts, scientists and department officials will draw up a comprehensive plan and chalk out the roadmap for the mission. Agricultural research institutes are sure to play an important part in this," added Roy.
Advisor to the Chief Minister on Agriculture Pradip Majumdar said the thrust area for the project is lentils, oil seeds and maize.
"Like in paddy where the cultivation is 25 percent more than our requirement, we hope through this mission not only to attain self-reliance in seed production but be able to export subsequently," he told.
"The idea is to create synergy between various stakeholders, promote research in the field and efficiently implement modern and scientific ways of production and preservation of seeds," said Mazumdar.
He added a similar mission was also on the cards for fodder and flowers, the demand for which has been steadily growing.