Seed sellers’ listing  


Since the persons who are selling seed are of primary concern in a seed law enforcement programme, one of  the first jobs of  the Inspector  would  be to prepare a  list of  known and  possible sales points in his area. In other words, the list would include those persons  and organisations he should be visiting. Possible sales outlets could include :  

a.                  members of the various seeds men’s associations or societies

b.                   government seed farms

c.                   cooperatives marketing seed

d.                   grain merchants

e.                  mobile seed sellers

f.                    research institutes and universities that sell seed

g.                   other private and public seed selling agencies and individuals

2.                  Such a list will need to be continually revised and expanded. Being alert to advertisements in papers and magazines, statements from seed sellers and complaints from the seed buyers can be very useful in maintaining such a list. Seeds sold through advertisements and catalogues are usually difficult to locate, unless, the Inspector receives a complaint or has the cooperation of the purchaser. Nevertheless, the inspector should be vigilant to seed being sold in this manner and periodically attempt to obtain samples of such seed. One method, of course, is to order seed or have a colleague order seed, which can then be samples officially.

Visit to seed sellers

3.         a.      First visit

                                    Objective -  getting acquainted and education.

                        Points to stress

i.                    the importance of good seed and the objectives of the seed law enforcement agency ;

ii.                 the Act intended to assist in providing good quality seed ;

iii.               steps that need to be taken by the seeds man to comply with the act ;

iv.                need for keeping at least a dozen spare labels of the type used to label seed, so that the same can be furnished to the Inspector during sampling ; 

v.                   information about the location of the laboratory and the procedure for submission of samples to the laboratory ;

vi.                leave copies of the Act and the Rules, specimen labels and other educational material ;

vii.              promise to return. 

b.                   Second visit

Objective – follow up questions from first visit and further                   

Points to stress

i.          determine if any questions have arisen regarding the Act since the last visit ;

ii.         determine if seed samples have been tested and discuss results of tests ;

iii.                 note if all seed lots are labeled properly ;

vi.               depending upon the progress being made by the seeds man, discuss and review again the need for testing and proper labeling of seed of notified kinds and varieties being sold ;

v.                 again offer to send samples for testing ;

vi.                answer more general questions on seed production, certification, processing, storage and distribution. If answers are not known, offer to try to find out;

vii.               promise to return.

c.                   Third visit

Objective – follow up on progress made and draw a few  
                  seed samples officially.

                        Points to stress

i.          review key points and discuss any unanswered questions from previous visits;

ii.                 check on progress in labeling seeds;

iii.               assuming some lots have been properly labeled, draw samples officially for testing;

iv.                congratulate the seeds man on the labeling done and suggest that it might be in his interest to actually label all seeds being sold and not just of notified kinds and varieties;

v.                   answer questions on seed production, certification, processing, storage and distribution that were not answered in previous visits;

vi.                promise to return to discuss results of tests on official samples.

d.                   Fourth visit

Objective – Review test results, sample seeds and further 

                        Points to stress

i.          check to see if seeds of notified kinds and varieties have been properly labeled;

ii.                 enquire if any problems have arisen in the labeling or testing process;

iii.               draw more official samples for testing;

iv.                if the seed lots have been properly labeled, congratulate the seeds man on the progress made and encourage him to continue testing and labeling;

v.                   offer all encouragement possible;

vi.                if seeds have not been properly labeled, issue a stop sale order for the concerned seed lots and outline steps to follow in labeling and action the seeds  man should take so  that the stop sale order can be revoked;

vii.              if a stop sale order is given, determine with the seeds man when the seeds will be properly labeled so that a return visit can be planned.

e.                  Fifth visit

Objective - check to see if stop sale order can be revoked,                  
review test results and sample more seed.

Points to stress

i.          if all test results were satisfactory, congratulate the seeds man
           on his correct labeling of seeds being sold; 

ii.                 discuss any mislabeling problems that exists;

iii.               issue stop sale order on seed lots that are mislabeled and that need correction before sales continue;

iv.                check to see if stop sale order issued for some seed lots on previous visit can be revoked;

v.                   continue educational process;

vi.                promise to return. 


The actual sequence to be followed will vary with each seeds man. The  suggestion given are just a guide. Only when no cooperation can be achieved on the first few visits should the Inspector consider exercising the more severe portions of the Act After the fourth or fifth visit with no cooperation the seizure clauses could be implemented and the procedure started for fines. However, it is anticipated that most seeds men will readily cooperate since they appreciate the objectives of the seed law enforcement agency. 

      Farmers’ complaints

5.         The Inspector should be alert to complaints received from farmers and the public on seeds bought. Many complaints about seeds may not really the fault of the seed. However, the Inspector needs to investigate all complaints. He must be sure of his facts before making rash statements about the quality of the seed lot being investigated. If farmers have samples or tags of the seed lot used, these should be collected and the follow up made with the seller of the original seed. Samples of this type could be submitted for testing along with original samples from the seed lot in question. If the seed lot had been sampled officially earlier, this sample should be re-tested. If it is found that complaint is justified and that the seed was not as represented, a settlement between the seller and the consumer can often be arbitrated by the Inspector. It is in the seed man’s and the department’s interest to have such problems solved through reimbursement of the cost of seed or similar solutions so that the farmer is satisfied that the seeds man has done the best possible in attempting to rectify the error. Settlements of this nature are effective and helpful as they provide immediate solutions to problems. If the seed seller does not cooperate and is unwilling to attempt to find a satisfactory solution to a problem that may exist with a seed lot that was misrepresented the penal clauses of the Act could be invoked. If the educational work is done well initially, many problems can be avoided ultimately. It is in the interest of the department, the Inspector and the seed industry to be sure that all effort is directed initially towards adequate education. Educational work must continue because new seeds men come in to the programme,  changes will be made in the Act and/or the Rules, and new staff members are recruited in the department. If education and enforcement are done properly, the seed industry will look upon the Inspector as a friend and guide.