BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Centre has asked all the States to procure pulses and oil seeds by all means to check distress sale, Odisha farmers have registered their protest over the low price fixed for different certified seeds. Registered seed growing farmers of the Odisha State Seeds Corporation (OSSC) have expressed their inability to supply certified seeds of groundnut and moong (green gram) at the price fixed by the corporation.
The corporation has fixed the price of groundnut seed at Rs 5,800 per quintal for the current rabi season as against the last year price of Rs 6,500 per quintal. “The corporation has reduced the rate by Rs 700 per quintal even after giving assurance to the farmers of a better price than last year,” said Madhusudan Pradhan, one of the registered farmers of Puri district.
The price offered by OSSC is not remunerative as the cost of production of certified seeds is much higher. The foundation seeds supplied to the farmers under groundnut seed production programme was Rs 8,200 per quintal. The farmers have purchased the foundation seeds from certified agencies of the Government, he added.
“We had participated in the seed production programme after getting assurance from the Seed Production Officer and Assistance Seed Production Officer of the corporation for a price higher than the last year.
Now, the corporation is not prepared to give us Rs 6,500 per quintal. We have decided not to supply the seeds to the corporation, if we are not paid right price for our produce,” said Laxman Nayak, a farmer from Pipli.
As per the agreement with the corporation, the registered seed growers have raised groundnut crops over 700 hectares (ha) under seed production programme. Though harvesting of the crops is over, farmers are not releasing their stock to the corporation for processing.
The farmers are paid for their produce only after mandatory processing and certification of the groundnut seeds.The registered farmers under the banner of Odisha Seed Growers’ Union have also demanded 30 per cent hike over the minimum price fixed for moong seeds. While the corporation has fixed the price for moong seed at Rs 6,500 per quintal, the union demands that the price be fixed at Rs 7,250 per quintal.
The union has further demanded reimbursement of the cost of groundnut breeder seeds which has been withheld by the corporation since 2019-10 and incentives to the farmers provided by the Centre under seed production programme.