BHUBANESWAR: AS the ruling BJD has launched a week-long agitation in all the block headquarters demanding revision of minimum support price (MSP) for paddy, seed growing farmers of the State on Thursday urged the Government to increase the procurement price of certified paddy seeds to `2930 per quintal.
Representatives of seed growers registered with Odisha State Seeds Corporation (OSSC) made the demand to Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout during a meeting with the latter here on Thursday.
The farmers’ representatives justified their demand saying that the cost of production of certified seeds is `500 more per quintal than common varieties of paddy seeds.
“As per the estimate of Agriculture Department, the average production cost of a quintal of paddy comes to `2,344. The additional cost involved for production of certified seeds is more that `500 per quintal. But the State Government has fixed procurement price for certified seeds at `1,837 per quintal,” said Ashok Baral, farmers’ representative in OSSC Board.
While the State Government is asking the Centre to revise MSP for paddy from `1,550 to `2,930 per quintal, the procurement price for certified should also be revised to the same level, he said.
The Odisha Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution to increase the paddy MSP to `2930 per quintal. The farmers’ representatives further drew the attention of Agriculture Minister to the apathy of the department in utilisation of fund received from the Centre under Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI) programme.
The Ministry of Agriculture had provided financial assistance of ` 6.16 crore to the State Government to provide incentives to farmers for production of high yield/hybrid seeds in 2015 kharif season. However, about `2 crore of the Central assistance has remained unspent till date, they informed Rout.
The delegation informed the Minister that farmers, who had supplied certified paddy seeds to OSSC in January, are yet to receive their payment. They requested Rout to direct the managing director of the corporation to release their dues without delay.
Alleging that the seeds corporation is dilly dallying for procurement of certified moong and biri seeds from the farmers, the delegation requested the Minister to take steps for immediate procurement of seed stocks from the farmers.