Local seed systems for millet crops in marginal environments of India

industry and policy perspectives

Latha Nagarajan, Philip G. Pardey, Melinda Smale
eptd discussion paper

Changes in India’s seed regulations during the 1990s favored the growth of privately- as compared to publicly-funded sectors. Most advances have been made in the major millet crops, sorghum and pearl millet, as compared to finger millet and other minor millet crops, which in many ways dependent on local markets for seed purposes. In this study, we have analyzed the evolving interactions between formal systems related to the delivery of modern varieties and informal systems for maintaining traditional seeds in the semi-arid regions of India. It is evident that in these marginal environments, crop and variety use decisions, and the crop biodiversity levels take place within the context of local seed markets and a national seed industry. The outcome of the study would help to identify potential entry points for millet crop improvement and related seed system interventions for marginal environments of India.