GUNTUR: Officials of Agriculture and Revenue departments have been conducting surprise inspections at seed shops for the last few days in the wake of the sale of poor-quality seeds at exorbitant prices.
As the Kharif season is about to begin, the farmers are gearing up to make necessary arrangements. As a result, the sale of seeds and fertilisers have picked up pace. However, fake and poor-quality seeds in the market have become a headache for the farmers.
A majority of farmers grow chilli and cotton in Guntur district. Many dealers in the district are buying some poor-quality seeds in bulk and selling them to the farmers at high prices. As most of the mirchi crop was affected due to pest infestation in the last season, the dealers were tricking farmers in the name of 'pest-resistant seeds'.
Besides this, local loan sharks were also forcing the farmers, who lent money from them, to buy seeds from them. In the last few days, the officials have conducted raids on as many as 200 seed shops and seized about 20 quintals of chilli and cotton seeds worth Rs 45 lakh.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, agriculture JD Venkateswarulu said that special teams comprising police, agriculture, and revenue department officials have been formed to conduct raids. The officials were also conducting meetings with various nursery owners and instructing them to sell only pre-tested seeds to farmers.
The officials warned that stern action will be taken against those violating regulations.Venkateswarulu also advised the farmers to be careful while buying seeds. The farmers were urged to check dealership details and take receipts for their purchase. "Necessary arrangements were being made to provide required seeds through RBKs at subsidised prices," he added.