Government of Nepal
Ministry of Agricultural Development

Seed Quality Control Centre


Introduction

The first seed testing laboratory was established in 1962 under Agronomy Division of Department of Agriculture (DOA) with an objective to distribute quality tested seed to farmers of the government farms/stations. Then it got accredited to the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) in 1964. After the establishment of Agriculture Botany Division at Khumaltar in 1995, this laboratory came under this division and started quality control activities, such as, field inspection, seed certification including seed testing services and seed research in early seventies. In due course, this laboratory was upgraded into Seed Technology and Improvement Programme. Thereafter, it started providing quality control service to different stakeholders continuously under National Agricultural Research Service Center (NARSC). A Seed Act came into existence in 1988 to regulate entire quality seed production functions and made provision of involving private sector in this business, however, Seed Regulation came after around 10 years in 1997.

In the fiscal year 1992/93, responsibility of seed quality control activities was transferred to DOA and Seed Development and Quality control Service Division (SDQCSD) was established at Harihar Bhawan, Lalitpur under the department. Regional Seed Testing Laboratories (RSTLs) at four development regions also came under this division and one RSTL was established in far-western region in the same fiscal year.

This division was again reorganized into Seed Development and Quality Control Service Section (SDQCSS) under Crop Development Division of DOA in 1995/96. Since then, this section has been working as a Secretariat of National Seed Board. However, all facilities of Laboratory were retained at Khumaltar for the seed research, which created a serious problem in seed quality control, considering this fact; Central Seed Testing Laboratory was established under DOA in the fiscal year 1996/97.

HMG/N formulated the National Seed Policy in 1999 to focus the issues on variety development, maintenance, seed supply, and involvement of private sector in seed business and quality control. For the effective implementation of the National Seed Policy, 1999 in the country, HMG/N revised the Seed Act 1988 to redefine the certain terms and definitions and to bring in line of international practices the first proposal to amend the Seed Act, 2045 bill has been tabled in the parliament of approval which is still waiting for approve.

SDQCSS, a quality control organization and regulatory body, being a small section under Crop Development Directorate/DOA, was facing problems in coordinating different stakeholders and also it has to work with the standards of World Trade Organization (WTO) for import and export of seed in coming days. Realizing this fact, HMG/N upgraded the SDQCSS to SQCC as an independent quality control organization under Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.