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A good seed in good soil

Indian experts help Bangladesh seed analysts and seed pathologists maintain good quality seed

Dr. GV Jagadish, head of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), demonstrates how to collect seed samples.

Dr. GV Jagadish, head of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), demonstrates how to collect seed samples.

In Sanskrit, Subeejam Sukshetre Jayate Sampadyathe means “a good seed in good soil yields abundantly.” With this concept in mind, the Krishi Gobeshan Foundation (KGF), an international NGO in Bangladesh, wanted to help pathologists and quality managers in their country obtain knowledge on ensuring seed quality.

Dr. Shahabuddin Ahmad from KGF approached WorldVeg South Asia for technical support to organize a training course on seed health management and seed quality testing. WorldVeg training co-ordinator PVL Bharathi has ample experience running these kinds of courses. After some thorough market research, she linked up with staff at a private seed company in India to tap their expertise.

The result was a three-day workshop held in January 2019 at the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), Joydebpur, Bangladesh with technical assistance from WorldVeg and BARI. The expert trainers from India, along with Dr. Mynul and Dr. Parimal from BARI, led a successful training course with plenty of hands-on activities to encourage the 21 participants to take up quality practices when managing seed.

Dr. GV Jagadish, head of BARI’s International Seed Testing Association (ISTA)-accredited seed laboratory, demonstrated how to take a good seed sample and test it for purity. He also explained the need for quality assurance and how to manage the seed health process. He introduced tetrazolium tests for seed viability and ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) tests to detect pathogens.

Dr. Abhay Pandey, pathology scientist at WorldVeg South explained how to detect seed- borne pathogens, and mentioned the challenges the seed sector faces in combating losses due to seed-borne infestations. Under his guidance trainees practiced ELISA testing to understand how to detect viruses.

Dr. Srini Ramasamy, acting Regional Director for WorldVeg South Asia, encouraged staff to further explore training opportunities in Bangladesh. WorldVeg’s technical advice was highly appreciated by the participants, who rated the program as “excellent.”

Ready to produce good quality seed!

Story and photos: PVL Bharathi and M Abhilash

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Dr. Abhay Pandey, WorldVeg South Asia pathologist, spokeg about detection and Identification of seed-borne pathogens.

Dr. Abhay Pandey, WorldVeg South Asia pathologist, spokeg about detection and Identification of seed-borne pathogens.

A participant practices the agar plate method for seed health testing.

A participant practices the agar plate method for seed health testing.

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