Background

Strong economic growth is a prerequisite for human development in a country as it provides the required resources for improving the capability of people through better education, health and other social services, as well as improving income –earning opportunities. Pakistan has a rich and vast natural resource base, covering ecological and climatic zones, hence the country has great potential for producing all types of food commodities.

Since the establishment of Pakistan in 1947, the organized seed sector passed through various evolutionary phases and has refined over time. Until 1961, seed of new varieties was multiplied and distributed by agricultural extension and occasionally “progressive” farmers received seed directly from breeders before the variety was released. In 1961, upon the recommendations of the Food and Agriculture Commission, the Government created an autonomous West Pakistan Agricultural Development Corporation (WAPDC) to implement an integrated agricultural development in the province. The organization was entrusted with seed production and distribution as well as other agricultural development related activities. However, because of inefficient marketing the organization failed and dissolved in 1972. In 1973, the Government of Pakistan formulated a national seed development plan with the assistance of FAO and the World Bank, which made strong recommendations for the participation of the private sector. In 1976, a seed industry project was designed and initiated at a cost of $56 million with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank.

Seed being a key element in agricultural production, it has been given special attention. The Government attaches high priority to agricultural research, variety development and seed production, distribution, quality control and extension. The Seed Act (No. XXIX of 1976) provided a regulatory framework for variety registration and seed quality control by setting up the institutional infrastructure which included the National Seed Registration Department (NSRD) and the Federal Seed Certification Department (FSCD), as executive arms of the National Seed Council (NSC). In 1997, these two Departments were amalgamated into the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC&RD). The National Seed Council (NSC) and the Provincial Seed Councils (PSC) were also established. The necessary infrastructure for the seed sector now exists at both the federal and provincial levels. The National Seed Council (NSC), chaired by the Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MFAL) is the supreme body for formulating national policies and regulating the seed sector. It approved and sanction seed standard and regulated inter provincial movement of seed. The Council represents all institutions concerned with the development of the seed industry in Pakistan. The Provincial Seed councils have been entrusted to approve crop varieties for seed production and make arrangements for seed multiplication, processing and marketing in the respective provinces.

In historical perspective the Punjab Seed Corporation was established 1976 in the light of Act Passed by the Punjab Provincial Assembly, for systematic seed Production, Procurement, Processing & Marketing of major and minor crops seed on scientific lines. The prime objective of PSC is to supply high quality seed on affordable rates thus to enhance overall per acre yield.