Draft Seeds Bill, 2019

The revised draft Seeds Bill 2019, which the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare placed in the public domain recently for suggestions and comments, seems to be a watered down version of a draft prepared about nine years ago by the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Among other things, the new draft has done away with the clause that stipulates constitution of a committee to decide on compensation to be given to affected farmers when seeds sold by companies and their agents fail to meet the promised performance under given conditions. The earlier draft of the Seed Bill prepared in 2010, incorporating recommendations from the earlier Parliamentary Standing Committee and representations from farmer groups and civil society organisations had this clause in place.