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OECD Varietal Certification in India

  1. Introduction
  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) an inter-governmental organization founded in 1958, Secretariat at Paris (France) provides a multilateral forum to discuss, develop and reform economic and social policies.
  • The OECD’s mission is to promote for sustainable economic growth and employment, a rising standard of living and trade liberalization.
  • The OECD brings together its member countries to discuss and develop domestic and international policies during its Technical Working Group and Annual Meetings.
  • It analyses issues, identifies good policy practices and recommends action in a unique forum in which countries can compare their experiences, seek answers to common problems and work to co-ordinate policies.


  1. OECD Seed Schemes

There are eight agriculture Seed Schemes in OECD viz.


  1. Grasses and legumes
  2. Crucifers and other oil or fibre species
  3. Cereals
  4. Fodder beet and sugar beet
  5. Subterranean clover and similar species
  6. Maize
  7. Sorghum
  8. Vegetable


  1. Participating countries

               Including India, 61 countries from Europe, North and South America, the Middle-East, Asia and Oceania currently participation in the OECD Seed Schemes.


Member Countries

  1. Australia 2. Austria 3. Belgium 4. Canada 5. Chile 6. Czech Republic 7. Denmark
  2. Estonia 9. Finland 10. France 11. Germany 12. Greece 13. Hungary 14. Iceland 15.Ireland 16. Israel 17. Italy 18. Japan, 19.Latvia 20. Luxembourg 21. Mexico 22.Netherland 23. New Zealand 24. Norway 25. Poland 26. Portugal 27. Slovakia 28.Slovenia 29. Spain 30. Sweden 31. Switzerland 32. Turkey 33. United Kingdom 34.United States


Non- member Countries

  1. Albania 2. Argentina 3. Bolivia 4. Brazil 5. Bulgaria 6. Croatia 7. Cyprus 8. Egypt 9.India 10. Iran 11. Kenya 12. Kyrgyzstan 13. Lithuania 14. Moldova 15. Morocco 16.Romania 17. Russian Federation 18. Senegal 19. Serbia 20. South Africa 21.Tanzania 22.Tunisia 23. Uganda 24. Ukraine 25. Uruguay 26. Zambia 27. Zimbabwe


  1. Objective
  • The objectives of the OECD Schemes for the varietal certification of seed are to encourage the use of ''quality-guaranteed" seed in participating countries.
  • The Schemes authorize the use of labels and certificates for seed produced and processed for international trade according to agreed principles ensuring identify and purity.
  • The Schemes facilitate the import and export of seed, by the removal of technical trade barriers through internationally recognized labels (passports for trade).
  • They also lay down guidelines for seed multiplication abroad as well as for the delegation of some control activities to the private sector ("accreditation").


  1. Operation of OECD Seed Schemes
  • The success of international certification depends upon close-operation between maintainers, seed producers, traders and the Designated Authority (appointed by the Government) in each participating country.
  • Frequent meeting allow for a multi-stakeholder dialogue to exchange information, discuss case studies prepare new rule and update the Schemes. The UN family of bodies, a vast range of non-government organizations (UPOV, ISTA & IFS etc.) and seed industry networks participate actively in the Schemes. International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of  Plants(UPOV) International Seed Federation (IFS)


  1. Benefits of the Schemes
  2. To facilitate international trade by using globally-recognized OECD labels and certification (e.g. they are required to export seeds to Europe).
  3. To build a framework to develop seed production with countries or companies.
  • To participate in the elaboration of international rules for seed certification
  1. To develop collaboration between the public and private sectors.
  2. To benefit from regular exchanges of information with other national certification agencies and observer organizations.
  3. The whole framework is designed to reduce technical barriers, improve transparency, and lower transaction costs.


  1. Rules and Directions of OECD Seed Scheme
  • Since 1958, the OECD Seed Schemes are open to OECD countries as well as other UN Members, 61 countries participate. The OECD certification is applied to varieties satisfying distinction, uniformity stability (DUS) conditions, having an agronomic value, and published in official lists.
  • The annual list of varieties eligible for OECD certification includes about 42,000 varieties from 200 species.
  • The schemes ensure the varietal identity and purity of the seed through appropriate requirements and controls throughout the cropping, seed processing and labeling operations.
  • The OECD certification provides for official recognition of "quality-guaranteed" seed, thus facilitating international trade and contributing to the removal of technical trade barriers.


  1. Government of India's Participation in the OECD seed Schemes
  • The Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation submitted a formal application to the Secretary General of the OECD on 21st September, 2007, for membership of the OECD Seed Schemes.
  • Subsequently the OECD Evaluation Mission visited India during April, 2008; then India delegation participated and presented a status of country's Seed industry and Seed Certification System during the Annual Meeting held at Chicago during June, 2008; India's application was admitted and approval was given during October, 2008 by the OECD Council.
  • Accordingly, India became member to participate in OECD Seed Schemes and entitled to attend the meeting of OECD to participate in the multilateral forum for discussion and expressing country's position on Varietal Certifications.


In this India's participation in following five Seed Schemes have been accepted by the OECD Council from October, 2008 viz.,

  1. Cereals Seed
  2. Maize and sorghum seed
  3. Crucifers and other oil or fibre species seed
  4. Grasses and Legumes seed
  5. Vegetable seed


  1. Notification of National Designated Authority (NDA)

Notification of the Joint Secretary to the Government of India In-charge Seeds Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation as NDA for the OECD Seed Scheme, who still responsible for the implementation of the Seed Schemes in India.


  1. Notification of Designated Authority (DAs)

National Designated Authority initially nominated 10 State Seed Certification Agencies who are capable of Operating the varietal certification Process of OECD Seed Schemes in our country as Designated Authorities by considering their Technical and administrative facilities.


DAs are responsible for OECD Varietal certification System in India. Now there are Nine Designated Authority instead of Five. List of Nine DAs carrying varietal certification under OECD Seed Schemes in India is as follows:

The designation authority and area of jurisdiction of OECD certification

Sl. No

Name and Address of DA


Area of jurisdiction


Andhra Pradesh State Seed Certification Agency, Guntur


Andhra Pradesh And Odisha


Bihar State Seed Certification Agency, Patna


Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar, North-Eastern States and Sikkim


Maharashtra State Seed Certification Agency, Akola


Maharashtra, Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Goa


Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority, Hyderabad


Telangana, Chhattisgarh


Rajasthan State Seed & Organic Production Certification Agency, Jaipur


Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh and Madhya Pradesh


Uttrakhand State Seed Certification Agency, Dehradun


Uttrakhand, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir


Uttar Pradesh State Seed Certification Agency, Lucknow


Uttar Pradesh


Directorate of Seed and Organic Certification Agency, Coimbatore


Tamil Nadu and Puducherry


Karnataka State Seed and Organic Certification Agency, Bengaluru




  • The State Seed Certification Agencies which are not notified as Designated Authorities should assist concerned DA notified by NDA as stated above for undertaking OECD Varietal Certification Activities in their respective States.
  1. The responsibilities of DAs are as follows.
  2. Ensuring that the variety to be OECD Listed    has been registered on the National Official Catalogue.
  3. Communicating the name of the person(s) or organization(s) responsible for the maintenance of the variety.
  • Liaising with the maintainer of the variety.
  1. Providing written agreement for the multiplication of seed outside the country of registration to the appropriate     Designated Authority.
  2. Supplying an authenticated standard sample of the variety to be multiplied in order that a control plot can be sown to provide an         authentic reference of the variety.
  3. Supplying an authenticated standard sample of the variety to be multiplied in order that a control plot can be sown to provide an authentic reference of the variety.
  • Supplying an official description of the variety to be multiplied.
  • Authenticating the identity of the seed to be multiplied.


  1. List of Indian crop varieties eligible for OECD seed certification

   231 varieties in 24 crops from India are enlisted in OECD list of varieties eligible for OECD Varietal certification.

  The detailed list of Indian varieties enlisted in the OECD list of varieties, Key Symbol of eligible varieties based on classification of OECD Seed          Scheme, maintainers name and addresses, morphological description of varieties, parents and hybrids and background details of eligible varieties     under OECD Seed Scheme are available in Handbook of OECD varietal Certification in India.


Click here to Download OECD Handbook

Click here to Download Guidelines for control plot tests and field inspection of seed crops

Click here to Download Rules and regulations of OECD Seed Schemes

Last Updated: 05-04-2022 04:47 PM Updated By: Approver kssoca

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