Instead of Planting, Farmers Consume Seed Potatoes

Published: 28th August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th August 2014 01:11 PM   |  A+A-

Potatoes

BALASORE: Seed potatoes supplied by the Horticulture wing of Agriculture department to farmers of Bhadrak district for cultivation have been consumed by them. They, apparently, found these seed potatoes less priced than its retail rate in the market.

At least 88 farmers from seven blocks of the district were provided 90 quintals of seed potatoes after vegetable crops were damaged in Phailin last year. These were supplied at subsidised rate of Rs 1,500 per quintal in November last year. Prior to supply of the seed potatoes, the Horticulture wing had set a target of harvesting 100 tonnes of potatoes from 20 acres of land by February end. Unfortunately, there has been no yield as all the seed potatoes supplied were consumed by farmers.

Not only potato seeds, 10 quintals of onion seeds were also supplied by the Horticulture wing to 76 farmers in the district.

These too met with the same fate. The farmers consumed the vegetable as it was available at half the cost of its market rate.

Sources alleged that the Horticulture officials, without verifying the antecedents of the beneficiaries, whether they were farmers or not, had supplied them seed potatoes and onions anticipating that they may rot if not disposed of on time.

Potato and onion prices have skyrocketed in the State post-Phailin last year. While in the urban areas, potatoes and onions are being sold at `30 and `40 respectively, the prices are 25 per cent higher in rural markets here.

Though Assistant Director of Horticulture, Patitapaban Samantray, denied that seed potatoes were consumed, he could not say how many quintals were harvested.

“We will do a follow up with the farmers the next time,” he said.

Tuber Crisis

■ 88 farmers from seven blocks of the district were provided 90 quintals of seed potatoes after vegetable crops were damaged in Phailin last year

■ 10 quintals of onion seeds were also supplied by the Horticulture wing to 76 farmers in the district

■ Potato and onion prices have skyrocketed in the State post-Phailin last year



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