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Caution: India's Agriculture Minister Tomar

Alien biological warfare may enter our farms

Govt. sounds alarm against unsolicited foreign seed parcels

Since the last few months thousands of such suspicious seed shipments have been reported across the world, a Government circular said.

By B N KUMAR

MUMBAI, Aug 9, 2020: The Centre has sounded alarm bells to the States against suspicious unsolicited parcels of seed entering the country from foreign countries.

The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has said in a circular speaks of threat of unsolicited suspicious seed parcels with mislabeled packages from unknown sources landing in India.

Arrival of such parcels has been reported in many countries like the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Japan and some European countries.

“Since the last few months thousands of such suspicious seed shipments have been reported across the world,” said the circular signed by Dilip Kr Srivastava, Deputy Commissioner –QC, in the Department of Agriculture.

 The US department of agriculture (USDA) termed it as ‘brushing scam’ and ‘agricultural smuggling’ and also reported that unsolicited seed parcels may contain seeds of an alien invasive species or an attempt to introduce pathogens or disease that may pose serious threat to the environment, agricultural eco system and national security, the circular said.

Pointing out that such parcels can be threat to bio-diversity of our country, Srivastava asked all State departments of Agriculture , State Agriculture Universities, Seed Associations, State seed Certification Agencies, Seed Corporations, ICAR visa-a-vis their crop based research institutes to be vigilant about the suspicious seed parcels.

The caution follows fears expressed by the National Seeds Association about such alien parcels that could be detrimental to the country's farm sector.

 

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