State Seeds Corporation in a quandary over loss

It had sustained a loss of `30 crore due to low off-take of certified seeds

Published: 25th March 2018 04:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2018 04:21 AM   |  A+A-

Paddy seeds

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha State Seeds Corporation (OSSC) which claimed to have made a provisional profit of Rs 1 crore during 2016-17 is still uncertain how to make up the loss of Rs 30 crore it sustained due to low off-take of certified paddy seeds by the farmers.

After witnessing drastic fall in the seed replacement rate, the State Government had targeted to supply 6 lakh quintals of certified seeds to the farmers in Kharif 2016. It entrusted the job of seed procurement to OSSC which purchased about 5.5 lakh quintals of certified seeds from registered farmers under Seed Village Programme.

Implementing the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for sale of paddy seeds, the State Government directed the corporation to collect the full cost of the seed from the farmers and refund the subsidy amount to their accounts later.As a majority of the farmers were not in a position to make upfront payments for certified seeds, they preferred to meet their seed demand from the local markets where rate is much cheaper.  The corporation could sell only 2.5 lakh quintals of seeds due to poor response from the farmers. It had to dispose of the balance stock of 3 lakh quintals in the open market at half the cost sustaining a loss of about Rs 30 crore.

Though the State Government came to the rescue of the corporation by providing a subvention of  Rs 7.5 crore, the corporation is still wondering how to make up the balance loss.Meanwhile, the corporation has taken up the issue with the State Government several times requesting the latter to compensate the loss. Though the Government had assured to look into the matter, the corporation’s hope of getting compensation was dashed with no provision in the 2018-19 budget.

“The corporation which has been sustaining losses every year in seed procurement, has given a proposal to the State Government to provide an annual grant of Rs 5 crore for supply of quality seeds to the farmers. But, this request of the corporation has not been accepted,” sources in OSSC said.While the DBT scheme has proved to be a dampener, this has adversely affected the seed replacement rate. The SRR in case of paddy has reached nearly 35 per cent prior to the implementation of DBT in 2005-16. It was less than 15 per cent during kharif 2017, it added.

Target hit

  • Govt had targeted to supply 6 lakh quintals of certified seeds to farmers in Kharif 2016

  • OSSC entrusted with procurement job. It purchased about 5.5 lakh quintals certified seeds from registered farmers under Seed Village Programme

  • The corporation could sell only 2.5 lakh quintals of seeds due to poor response from farmers

  • It had to dispose of balance stock of 3 lakh quintals in open market at half the cost sustaining a loss of about Rs 30 crore

  • State Govt came to the rescue of the OSSC by providing a subvention of  Rs 7.5 crore, corporation is still for ways to make up the balance loss

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