Center for Seeds and Seedlings, NARO

Production of Foundation Seeds

Foundation potato seed field

Potato and sugarcane, one of the important crops in Japan, are highly vulnerable to infection with viral, bacterial and other diseases and as a result of disease infection, significant damage and decrease in production are caused. In addition, their multiplication ratio (product to seed) is rather lower than other crops.NCSS produces and distributes disease-free and high-quality foundation seeds of potato and sugarcane, which are the beginning and foundation of producing and supplying high-quality seeds.NCSS is making every effort to produce and distribute foundation seeds efficiently with timely response to demands in accordance to the Basic Plan for Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas of the Government. It is further necessary for NCSS to continuously make efforts to respond to the demands for increasing varieties, improving qualities, etc.

Flow of production of potato seeds and potato

potato puroduction
ratio*: Figures in ( ) indicate propagated amount (harvested amount) of potato in comparison with the amount of one (1) foundation seed.

The basic system of foundation seed propagation at NCSS consists of three steps of propagation of
i) in screen house->; ii) in base farm (field)-> iii) in foundation seed farm (field) and systematic technologies and procedures such as field inspection and ELISA method for checking virus infection which have been established thorough NCSS's long history of foundation seed production. NCSS also employs newly developed and advanced technologies for production and inspection such as rapid propagation method using microtuber and PCR method.

System of foundation seed propagation at NCSS

System of foundation

NCSS produces potato seeds isolated farms and does tests for diseases such as naked-eye diagnoses, inoculation tests and serological tests in every phase of propagation

Amount of foundation seeds and seedlings of potato and sugarcane and stock seedlings of tea produced and distributed by NCSS
(Potato: 1 bag = 20 kg)

74,027 67,569 68,960 67,790 67,130 67,263 67,010 65,733 66,007 70,228
No. of varieties
47 51 52 56 55 56 63 72 74 74
(unit: 1,000)
2,327 2,367 2,869 2,706 2,623 2,470 2,401 2,227 2,209 1,964
Tea tree
(unit: 1,000)
39 25 21 26 60 - - - - -
Notes: Tea Tree production was finished at the end of 2006 year.

(Reference) Basic plans for food, agriculture and farming villages (excerpts) 1.Production targets for FY 2015;Potato: 3.03 million tons (FY 2003; 2.93 million tons);Sugarcane: 1.58 million tons (FY 2003; 1.39 million tons);Tea trees: 96,000 tons (FY 2003; 92,000 tons)
2.Food security for contingencies;(Maximum supply quantities by domestic agricultural production at maximized calorie efficiency: trial calculation for FY 2010)

FY 2003Trial calculation
(case 1)
Trial calculation
(case 2)
Daily per capita calorie to be supplied 2,588 kcal 1,880 kcal - 2,020 kcal
Annual per capital net food to be suppliedRice 62 kg 84 - 51 kg
Potatoes 20 kg 84 - 282 kg
Notes: In Case 1, rice is planted in the entire paddy field, with calorie supply maximized.
  In Case 2, potatoes are planted in half of areas other than ill-drained areas in the
paddy field, in addition to Case 1.