IPB University Lecturers Share Strategies to Produce Healthy and Quality Seeds

Healthy and quality seeds are important components in producing superior agricultural products. Along with the rapid global trade, the quality of seeds is getting more and more attention. However, importing seeds carries the risk of bringing new diseases to the country, especially seed-borne plant diseases such as fungi, viruses and nematodes.

Responding to this, Dr. Widodo, IPB University Lecturer from the Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, shared strategies and techniques for producing healthy seeds. He considered that seed health has not become a priority for agricultural development in Indonesia. In fact, in various countries such as Europe, the handling of plant seeds is extraordinarily strict.

"Healthy seeds are seeds that are free from plant-disturbing organisms (OPT), especially pathogens. This is because plant culture materials can generally be carriers of pathogens. This culture can be in the form of true seeds or vegetative cultures," said Dr Widodo.

The IPB University lecturer continued, sick and poor-quality seeds can actually be characterized visually. However, seed producers often ignore the early symptoms of the disease. Seeds that should no longer meet the criteria still often pass the selection and are sold in the market.

"Symptoms in the field need to be observed because they determine our actions in choosing the plants used for seed production," said Dr. Widodo in the Propaktani Webinar entitled "The Importance of Seed Health to Support the Provision of Quality Seed," which was organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, 08/04.

Dr. Widodo also explained that outbreaks of disease that caused crop failure were often caused by unhealthy seed quality. Not only that, farmers often experience losses, so that they 'gang up' the seed producers due to crop failure. He said, based on research conducted on commercial seeds, it was found that around 60-80 percent of seeds contained seed-borne diseases.

“The strategy is to pay attention to the health of the seeds. The health of the seed will affect the health of the plant, as well as the health of the plant will affect the seeds or seeds produced," he said. Dr. Widodo suggested that seed producers should pay more attention to plant health in the field. Not only that, another strategy is to use healthy seeds. He also suggested that farmers plant in areas and seasons that prevent the target pathogen from developing optimally.

"For example, in areas with low humidity but sufficient water for pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Eastern Indonesia, such as East Nusa Tenggara, is considered very potential to produce healthy seeds. In these areas, the risk of seed-borne disease is lower," said Dr Widodo.

The IPB University lecturer also suggested that farmers plant in areas and seasons when insect vectors do not develop well. This is because some viruses and bacteria can be transmitted by insect vectors. “Don't hesitate to destroy individual sick plants in the field, especially if they are no longer possible to produce. Especially for the purposes of seed production," he added.

In order to maintain the quality of healthy seeds, he advised that for the next seed needs, farmers should first harvest healthy individual plants. Often farmers mix seeds of healthy plants with diseased ones. Plants and seeds must be marked since the initial symptoms so that they are easy to distinguish and transfer. (MW/RA)

Published Date : 11-Apr-2022

Resource Person : Dr Widodo

Keyword : Lecturer of IPB University, plant seeds, healthy seeds, seed pathogens, seed-borne pathogens