BHUBANESWAR: The State Seed Pricing Committee is reported to have recommended to the Government to fix the price of certified paddy seeds at `1500 per quintal for the ensuing kharif crop. If the proposal is accepted, farmers buying certified seeds from Government agencies will have to pay `50 more per quintal.
The State Government has been supplying high yield varieties of paddy and non-paddy seeds to farmers at subsidised rates finalised by the State Seed Pricing Committee headed by Agriculture Secretary.
“Any hike in price will affect the seed replacement rate (SRR) as farmers will depend more on local varieties which come at cheaper price,” said Madhusudan Pradhan, a progressive farmer of Pipili in Puri district.
While the State’s requirement of paddy seed is about 24 lakh quintal, the Government has planned to supply seven lakh quintal of certified seeds during the coming kharif.
The seed pricing panel, which met here recently, is stated to have fixed the cost of certified paddy seeds at `2,642 per quintal. If this cost is accepted, the State Government will have to provide a subsidy of `1,141 per quintal.
Seed growing farmers of the State have strongly opposed the higher cost fixed by the Government. The Government has been procuring certified seeds from registered seed growing farmers at `1,890 per quintal. A margin of `752 per quintal is too much, said Bijay Khandi of Jajpur district.
Justifying the margin, official sources said all costs including procurement, scientific storage, delivery to sale points, commissions to seed procuring agencies and other incidentals have to be recovered. The Government is not making any profit out of it.
Last year, the committee had fixed two rates - one for seed varieties of less than 10 years (`1450 per quintal) and the other for more than 10 years (`1600 per quintal). The committee has recommended for a common price for all varieties of seeds for coming kharif. Though harvesting of pulses like moong and biri is over, the pricing committee has not taken any decision about the seed cost.