JAGATSINGHPUR: Supply of sub-standard paddy seeds by the Odisha State Seed Corporation (OSSC) has emerged a big concern for farmers in the district. Paddy is cultivated on 86,220 hectare land in the district.
The farmers’ hopes of a bumper crop this season have been shattered as the seeds bought by them in bulk failed to germinate.
This year, owing to adequate rainfall in May (206 mm) and June (95 mm till June 24), the conditions were favourable for cultivation of paddy.
Different varieties of seeds like Sarala, MTU 1075, Puja, Swarna, Uphar and others were bought by the farmers through cooperative societies and private dealers. Rudra Prasad Jena of Dandilo village in Biridi block had bought 60 kg Sarala seeds from the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society (PACS) of Gopinathpur. He said around 70 per cent of the seeds, he had sown on his 70 acre land, have failed to germinate. A few farmers of the district are now buying local traditional seeds at a higher price.
Sources said factors like faulty processing, growth of fungus and irregularities in selection of paddy seeds after certification by Odisha State Seed Certification Agency are responsible for the farmers’ woes.
Chief district agriculture officer Rabi Narayan Mohapatra said the Agriculture department has been receiving complaints of non-germination of paddy seeds especially of Sarala and MTU 1075 varieties. He said a departmental inquiry has been initiated into the matter.