BHUBANESWAR: Even after six months of delivery of certified paddy seeds to Odisha State Seeds Corporation (OSSC), over 5,000 registered seed growers of the State are still waiting for their payment.
The registered seed growers have supplied about 4.80 lakh quintals of certified seeds to OSSC in December last year. The State level seed pricing committee has fixed the price of certified seed at Rs 1,840 per quintal.
Farmers who had supplied certified seeds to the State-run Corporation were supposed to get the minimum support price fixed for paddy (Rs 1,360 per quintal) by the Centre at the time of delivery as first instalment while the balance Rs 480 per quintal was to be paid after obtaining laboratory report on the quality of seeds.
Though the Corporation has received the laboratory test report on seed quality after one month of delivery, which is the standard practice, the farmers are yet to be paid their final payment.
The Corporation cleared the first instalment of seed suppliers on July 10 following intervention of Chief Secretary GC Pati. This paper had reported the plight of farmers who were running from pillar to post to get their dues.
The payment of farmers has been held up by the Corporation despite the fact that the State Government had extended financial assistance of Rs 60 crore for procurement and pre-positioning of quality seeds for farmers ahead of the kharif cultivation.
Besides, the Corporation has also taken a credit of Rs 40 crore from commercial banks for seed procurement. Of the sanctioned amount, the Government had released Rs 25 crore in April to the Corporation’s bank account.
Madhusudan Pradhan, a registered paddy seed grower from Mangarajpur village of Pipili block in Puri district, said he got his first instalment on July 10 and that was possible after much pestering the Corporation and Government officers.
Several farmers including Bijay Khandai from Jajpur district and Basanta Barik from Balasore district have similar tale to tell. Kandai and Barik have supplied about 150 quintals of seeds each to the Corporation in December.
Managing director in-charge of OSSC Aparti Sethy could not be contacted.