A seed-net meeting was organized in National Wheat Research Programme (NWRP) of Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Bhiarahawa,Nepal on 20 April 2014. A total of 26 participants representing different private seed companies and farmers’ seed producers’ groups, National Seed Company (NSC) and NARC research centers of the government took part in the meeting. Dr. Bhaba P. Tripathi, IRRI-Nepal welcomed and highlighted the objectives of the meeting particularly on creating awareness about stress tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) in the target areas through the dealers’ net-work, organizing seed plots for demonstration of STRVs in the stress prone areas through the selection of lead farmers by the seed dealers, promoting STRVs in their marketplaces to enhance the sustainable production and delivery, and providing feedback from the farmers on the performance and seed demand.
Dr. Manzoor Dar, IRRI-India provided the details of the rationale of the meeting as well as delivered the success stories of minikits and demonstrations in the farmers’ field in India and Bangladesh, which showed good impact of disseminating new STRVs in larger areas in a shorter period of time. He also mentioned that similar type of impact is expected in Nepal when all the stake holders involved in seed business run the minikits and demonstrations in farmers’ through their dealers’ net-work. Ram B.Yadaw, Senior Rice Breeder, National Rice Research Programme (NRRP) of NARC presented the key characteristics of released rice STRVs particularly Sukha Dhan 1, Sukha Dhan 2, Sukha Dhan 3, Sukha Dhan 4,Sukha Dhan 5 and Sukha Dhan 6 and their seed availability in Nepal. Mr. Yadaw presented the mechanism of monitoring and data collection from demonstrations. He asked the participating seed companies and farmers’ seed producers’ groups to collect breeder seeds of the above rice varieties from NRRP Hardinath and other research centres of NARC to grow in the coming rice season so that they can have sufficient foundation seed to grow in the following season.
Dr. Devendra Gauchan, Socio-economics Divion of NARC delivered the structure of seed-net in Nepal and its use for upscaling STRVs. He also highlighted on the importance, challenges and opportunities of seed-net in Nepal. Then feed back from the participants were collected during question-answer session. The allocation of minikits to different seed companies and farmers’ groups as well as planning for monitoring and evaluation system were discussed. The number of minikits for demonstrations in the coming season by all the seed companies, seed producers’ groups and NARC research centers were finalized according to their capacity.