Seed is an important vehicle for transmitting disease causing organisms or pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses etc. from field to storage and vice-versa. A pure viable sized of high yielding potential is of little or no use to the farmer/growers if it carries the inocula of a destructive pathogen. All other inputs such as fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides etc. are of no use if the seed is unhealthy which may cause total crop failure under favorable condition. Coincidentally, most of the devastating crop diseases in the country are seed borne as well as seed transmitted in nature which cause enormous losses every year. Seed health is by far the most important quality determinant factor which is usually ignored by the stakeholders in the seed sector. Proper detection and management of seed borne diseases are the pre-requisites for the assurance of sustainable crop production.
Under the circumstances, Seed Pathology Centre (SPC) the only national institution of its kind in this country has been shouldered with such an assignment. And realizing the fact, with a view to increasing the agricultural output and thereby achieving self-sufficiency in food production in the country, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) formulated a National Seed Policy providing the policy directives to increase production of improved seed both in the public and private sectors and proving the best quality seeds for farmers in the country. Accordingly, the seed health issue has been paid due importance and included in the section-12, Clause-11.8 of The Bangladesh Gazette on 8 April 1993.
The SPC was formally inaugurated initially as Seed Pathology Laboratory (SPL) by the honorable Minister of Agriculture Begum Matia Chowdhury on June 1998. Subsequently, through the strengthening programme of activities Seed Pathology Laboratory (SPL) has been upgraded from SPL to SPC (Seed Pathology Centre) which is still on foot. Since its establishment and recognition, SPC has been continuing with its research, training and technology transfer activities that have been shouldered as mandatory. At Present the SPC consists of two scientific officers, four technicians and 8 other staff members headed by a director.