The number of seed companies is increasing in the country but the quality of seeds is a matter of concerns that must be addressed, as per the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department.

Keeping in view, the FSC&RD in collaboration with UNIDO is setting up a Seed Testing Lab to ensure the quality of seeds at par with international standard, said FSC&RD Director General Syed Nasir Shah addressing the inaugural session of International Workshop titled Seed Physiology, Production and Management arranged by Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad at New Senate Hall.

The session was chaired by UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad while Department Chairman Dr Shahzad Basra and Dr Irfan Afzal also spoke on the occasion. Nasir Shah said that the lab would focus on germinations and health of the seed that will help increase productivity and earn foreign exchange by exporting it. He said the sector demands more resources to make it strengthened which is a base for the green revolution.

He lauded the University for producing valuable researches and producing trained manpower and said it was used to organise seminars of the international standards to provide a platform for formulating a strategy to face the challenges of the sector.

Dr Iqrar said that quality of seed was a real challenge and added that the University in collaboration with other institutions the lab would set up at the campus. The lab will help in conducting valuables researches and will work on other mechanism for the quality of seed, he said.

He also announced that the University would start a programme on seed technology to train manpower in the discipline. He quoted a survey that only seven out of 52 BT cotton seed samples were meeting the criteria of pureness.

He stressed the need for developing seed supply mechanism to ensure the quality. He also called for public awareness regarding balanced of resources such as water, fertiliser etc. Dr Shahzad Basra stressed the need for collaborated efforts in the field. He said that the workshop will help in devising a roadmap to strengthen the seed sector. Dr Irfan Afzal said that around 700 seed companies were operating in the country.