The Centre has alerted State and Union Territory governments as well as the seed industry and research bodies to be vigilant about “suspicious/unsolicited seed parcels” from unknown sources entering into India which can be a threat to the country’s biodiversity.
The threat of “unsolicited/suspicious seed parcels with mislabelled packages from unknown sources” was reported in many countries like the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Japan and some European nations, it said.
The ministry also mentioned that “the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) termed it as “brushing scam” and “agriculture smuggling”.
The USDA has also reported that the unsolicited seeds parcels may contain seeds of alien invasive species or an attempt to introduce pathogens or disease that may pose serious threat to the environment, agriculture ecosystem and national security, it added.
The agriculture ministry said unsolicited/mystery seed parcels can be a threat to biodiversity of India.
Therefore, all state departments of agriculture, state agriculture universities, seed associations, state seed certification agencies, seed corporations, Indian Council of Agriculture vis-a-vis their crop based research institutes are directed to be “vigilant” about the suspicious seed parcels, it stated.