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Tuesday, April 13, 2010


What is Seeds?
Many people say seed as source of planting material since many century. Actually seeds is a small embryonic plants covered by a so called 'Seed Coat' with some content of stored food. According to Wikepedia definition, Seed is an end result of ripening or matured ovule of Gymnosperm and Angiosperm of plants which occur after FERTILIZATION process and some grows within mother plants. When seed germinated it will follow the parent characteristic as a process of reproduction. The seeds developed from pollination process in flowering stage by many agents pollinator (winds, insects, beetle, ants, humans, gravity and others).

Seed production is an activity to produce seed commercially in a large amount. In Malaysia the seed production considered as commercial for Oil Palm Seed Production (Tenera), Paddy Seeds Production (Recently MR 219 and MR 210), Cocoa Seed Production (KKM Clone) and some vegetable seeds production. However for most vegetables and melon, most of the seeds was imported especially from Taiwan, China, Thailand and few others country. The hybrid seeds imported in several pack and sold as essential items in food production. Seeds are in various sizes and forms. Some seeds are very fine just like a dusts in few million in one gram (Example Orchid seeds, Fern Spores etc). Some seeds are medium small sizes such as beans, long beans, Rambutans, Durians , Jackfruits, Citrus, Paddy and many others. Other seeds considered big size was coconut and other herbaceous wood plants. Some forest tree produce seeds in many years for maturity and distributed in many ways. Seeds germinated as new plants to sustain in our world for million years and distributed by many system.

Seed Dormancy is a term used in agronomy saying that the seed is dormant and not ready to germinate. The dormancy period depend on type of seeds and maturity period (Example for Papaya about 1-2 months). There is technology to break seed dormancy period by using Heat Treatment, Sunlight, Water Treatment, Chemical Treatment and Physical Treatment. After the treatment the seed able to germinate in uniform stage (especially for grain seeds such as paddy, wheat, corn, sunflower etc). Seed Storage and Seed Durability is an important factor to determine seed quality. From my observation to seed dealer and retailer in Tangkak and Yong Peng , Johore most of them using a very good packing system to ensure seed quality. The Tetra Pack or Cylindrical Tin used to pack mostly imported hybrid seeds. The most important is to check the Expiry Date on the Label so that the buyers wont loss due to low quality and germinated seeds. Normally farmers has a close contact with seeds supplier from Agriculture suppliers shops.

Seed Prices in Malaysia has not been studied and controlled by authorities. Its only rely on supply and demand of the market. However the imported hybrid seeds was increase tremendously since petrol crisis in 2006-2008 where some increase up to 250%. For example before oil crisis the 500 gm (1 pack tin) of melon seeds in Tangkak Johor only about RM 450 but increase to RM1,100 nowadays. Other than seed price the farmers also burdened with fertilizers costs and chemicals costs in their farming activity. From my study showing that overall cost of production in food crop activity increase about 20 - 39% after oil crisis. Seeds is an important factor determine farmers sustainability.


M Anem
Senior Agronomist,
Kuala Perlis,
Perlis, Malaysia.
(Updated 21 July 2015)

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