Impact of COVID 19 on seed processing

Impact of COVID 19 on seed processing

July 9, 2020 Gubba Group

The health crisis revolving around COVID19 pandemic has affected all walks of life. While many businesses have are still coping up with losses, the Indian agriculture sector has is likely to suffer a huge impact. With the functioning of the seed industry and its ancillaries severely hit down by the nationwide lockdown, we evaluate the prompt challenges that COVID19 has posed to the seed industry and propose alleviation measures to guarantee a manageable food framework in the post-crisis period.

Major Challenges 

A significant deterioration in import and export of seed
Known as the seed hub of India, Telangana houses the processing and storage facilities of over 400 private and seed MNCs, serves about 70% of the country’s seed needs as well as that of several South-East Asian and African countries. 

However, with the rising pandemic, the import/export of seeds has been affected severely with respect to the next agricultural season. This is because of the increasing gap between demand and supply. As the pandemic has impacted the developed countries more, the response strategies would be more centred for those nations than the developing ones. Therefore high-value seeds have experienced a larger demand-supply gap, especially the European vegetable and fruit varieties. 

The coincidence of lockdown with the rabi harvesting season
During rabi season in India and harvests like wheat, gram, lentil, mustard, and so forth (including the irrigation tract paddy) are at a harvestable stage or almost at development. With the requirement of seed estimated at 310 lakh quintals for the next agricultural season, farmers across the country look up to the Government to ensure uninterrupted harvesting of the crops as well as smooth procurement operations. 

As the lockdown coincided with the harvesting season, it has impacted both the seed and ancillary industries, including the delays in the transport of seed produced in other states.

Mitigation Measures
FSII has encouraged the Union Government to permit the movement of seeds and allow critical functions to continue with no hindrance. Seeds in India go under the essential commodities and consequently are exempt from the lockdown. In many cases, the Indian Government has responded to the pandemic well, however, the medium of communication is still coping up down the line, subsequently delaying its execution. NSAI is likewise conveying, to the Govts, to permit the movement of seeds.

With an ever-increasing population, there is a relating ascend in food consumption in India. However, the trade-offs and staple grain perception of the Green Revolution, have since been realized. It is thus, desirable to switch over to a reasonable model with far more focussed nutrition where diets are diverse. A post-COVID scenario offers the opportunity to repurpose the current food and agriculture plan for a more healthy community. Gubba Seed Cold Storage is the first de-humidified commercial seed cold storage in India. We understand that seed life is based on the criteria of physiological and atmospheric conditions and, Gubba strives to do every bit to retain the germination viability of the seed. Check out our Seed Cold Storage in Hyderabad for more details. 

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