Cabinet clears seeds bill

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) The union cabinet Thursday cleared a bill that aims to regulate the quality of seeds sold in the country.

According to sources, the bill, which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2004, seeks to replace the Seeds Act 1966.

The bill was cleared at the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

According to provisions of the bill, all varieties of seeds for sale have to be registered and the seeds are required to meet certain prescribed minimum standards.

The bill does not restrict the farmer’s right to use or sell his farm seeds and planting material, provided he does not sell these under a brand name. All seeds and planting material sold by farmers need to conform to the minimum standards applicable to registered seeds.

The bill was referred to the Standing Committee of Parliament which gave its report in 2006.

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