The concept of Seed Certification was known in India even before Independence. In early Sixties, Seed Certification principles were vague till 1957 and began to take shape in a systematic manner after launching of Integrated Maize Seed programme in the country which was followed by establishment of National Seeds Corporation in 1963. The Indian Seeds Act Bill was passed by Parliament in 1966. In 1967, Seed Scrutiny Committee was constituted when only a part of Seed's Act 1966 was introduced & was effective, in 1968, while remaining part of the Act was implemented in 1969. First Indian Minimum Seed Certification Standards was published in 1969. The National Seed Project was launched in the country to strengthen the production of good quality seed. During phase I independent Seed Corporations & Seed Certification Agencies were constituted in some states. The year 1977 (in phase II) was a milestone in Seed Industry for Rajasthan State, as the State Seed Certification Agency was constituted as a autonomous body.
SEED CERTIFICATION IN RAJASTHAN
The Rajasthan State Seed Certification Agency (RSSCA) was registered under Rajasthan Societies Registration Act, 1958 and started functioning in 1977, with well defined objectives under the provision of section 8 of the Seeds Act, 1966. Change in the name of Raj. State Seed Certification Agency to Raj. State Seed and Organic Production Certification Agency was done on 15th October 2004 vide Certificate of Registration issued by the Rajasthan Societies Registration Act, 1958 and further notification to this effect was also issued by the State Govt. vide no. 12(9)Agri/Gr.I/05-06/Input/dated 24 August 2005. with the additional responsibilities of Organic Certification from the State Govt. The activities of RSSOPCA have been increasing steadily over the years in view of the active involvement of Private Sector Companies apart from the Public Sector Institutions and Departments in the production of quality certified seed.
RSSOPCA has a Governing Board headed by the Pr. Secretary Agriculture, Government of Rajasthan as its Chairman and Director/commissioner Agriculture, Director Horticulture, Director (Research), SK RAU Bikaner, Director (Research) M.P.-M.P.U.A.T. Udaipur, Dy, Secretary (Finance), Two to four seed growers representatives by the Government, Dy Commissioner (Qc), Government of India as members on the Board. The Director, RSSOPCA is the Chief executive officer and member secretary of the Board. The Agency has its Head Office at Jaipur and Regional offices at Jaipur, Kota, Sriganganagar, Suratgarh, Banswara & Bharatpur headed by Seed Certification Officers. There are 8 sub-regional offices in the state located at Jodhpur, Hanumangarh, Chittorgarh, Alwar, Pilibangan, Kherli, Gharsana & Ajmer headed by Dy. Seed Certification Officers.The Agency has a total of sanctioned staff strength of 168 members working in various technical & non-technical cadres Initially, in 1978-79 the area under certification was only 11,962 ha. which has increased to 1,26,566 ha. in 2013-14. Similarly, the quantity of seed certified by the Agency under different crop varieties has reached 15,46,931 Q. Approx. in 2013-14 against 50,049 Q. in 1978.
ORGANIC CERTIFICATION INTRODUCTION
Rajasthan Organic Certification Agency (ROCA) is an integral part of Rajasthan State Seed & Organic Production Certification Agency (RSSOPCA).This is an autonomous organization registered under Rajasthan Societies Registration Act 1958. It functions under the State Government as per the National Programme of Organic Production (NPOP). ROCA has been accredited by the Agricultural and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, New Delhi, Vide No. NPOP/NAB/0013, Dated 10th October, 2007. This Agency is the second public sector CB in India. After accreditation from APEDA Ministry of Commerce & Industries, Govt. of India under National Programme of Organic Production (NPOP), ROCA an independent wing in RSSOPCA, Jaipur has registered 13 individual farms with 52.36 ha. & 7 Growers Groups in 4 districts under Deptt. of Agriculture having 1043 farmers & area 1300 ha., during 2012-13. Roca has now been accrediated for carrying out organic certification as per NOP-USDA Standard also.
ROCA is engaged in Organic Certification activities as per National Standards of Organic Production (NSOP) which gives international recognition to the certified products in conformity with applicable requirements. ROCA also maintains trust, mutual co-operation and faith among producers and consumers through reliability of its certification mark. Being a public sector organization, its certification fee structure are low in comparison to private sector certification agencies, which helps to small & marginal farmers having comparatively poor economic condition in selling their organic agricultural produce through organic certification mechanism.Its aims are to increase the organic certification services to wider area and not to confined for crop production only but to increase the scops for Processors, Traders, Wild harvest collection and input approval activities also.
ROCA has been established as per guidelines under ISO-65. Its structure and system of function are transparent, independent, regular quality improvement, provision of internal review, confidentiality and non discrimination against caste, religion, gender & marital status etc. It has sufficient provision for dealing and disposal of appeal and complaints lodged by affected parties in the course of organic certification.
SYSTEM OF ORGANIC CERTIFICATION
Any grower who is engaged in organic farming since long or really interested in organic farming & able to document the procedure adopted for organic farming in a systematic manner, committed to no use of chemical fertilizers & pesticides & practicing farm residue, compost, vermi compost etc. for plant nutrition and medicinal, aromatic plants products along with cow urine and conventional methods for control of diseases & insect pest control, may apply for organic certification.
An independent wing Rajasthan Organic Certification Agency (ROCA) has been established under Rajasthan State Seeds & Organic Certification Agency, Head Quarter at IIIrd Floor, Pant Krishi Bhawan, Jaipur for implementing the organic certification activities under the National Programme of Organic Production (NPOP) and NOP-USDA Government of Rajasthan has issued a Gazette Notification to this effect on 7th January, 2006. However, as per principle & prerequisites accreditation from the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry Government of India, New Delhi is necessary before undertaking the organic certification work. ROCA has already applied for accreditation to APEDA which is likely to be obtained by September-2007. As per guidelines ROCA has already started registration of organic farmers & inspection as per NPOP norms are in process. Presently eleven (11) organic farmers has been registered till date including three (3) ATC Farms of State Agriculture Department at Tabiji-Ajmer, Sumerpur-Pali & Chittorgarh. Total area under Organic Certification Programme is 168 Ac. Crops includes Barley, Wheat, Mustard, Gram, Moong, Moth, Guar, Bajra & Vegetables, etc.
Any farmer practicing organic farming or interested in organic farming & like to certify the same, he/ she may contact at the Directorate of Organic Certification, Pant Krishi Bhawan, Jaipur either personally/ telephonically on 0141-2227104/ 2227456. For Organic Certification, documentation of organic farming activities is essential. Later such farmers may register their farms for organic certification. A few essential documents necessary for organic certification are listed below along with copy of the same:-
· Organic Farmer’s Diary for individual farmers and ICS group.
· Application form for organic certification.
· Fee structure.