Seed shortage hits Kendrapara paddy farmers

Meanwhile, it is also being claimed that many agriculture and block officials are minting money by not providing subsidised seeds to the farmers.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

KENDRAPARA: The fate of a large number of farmers in Kendrapara district hangs in balance since they are yet to receive paddy seeds for cultivation during kharif season.Farmers alleged that the seed supply centres in all the nine blocks of the district do not have sufficient paddy seeds. Paddy cultivation for the upcoming season was planned on over 1.24 lakh hectare land for which farmers need around 49,840 seeds.

But Agriculture department has received only 250 quintal paddy seeds from the Odisha State Seeds Corporation as of yet.Secretary of Kendrapara Krushak Sabha Umesh Chandra Singh said they have been running from pillar to post to receive seeds for paddy cultivation but to no avail.

“The authorities have broken our backbone by not supplying seeds since many farmers are solely dependent on paddy cultivation for their living. Many seed businessmen of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and other states are now camping in the district for supplying paddy seeds to the farmers,” he added.

Meanwhile, it is also being claimed that many agriculture and block officials are minting money by not providing subsidised seeds to the farmers. “The officials are illegally selling seeds to private traders because of which we are being forced to buy them from seed merchants by paying more money,” alleged farmers’ leader Madhab Das. The price of seeds is soaring because of the unholy nexus between traders and agriculture officials, he added.

“While the official price of certified paddy seeds is Rs 3,650 per quintal, we are compelled to buy seeds of sub-standard quality at Rs 4,000 per quintal due to its unavailability in the market,” said Rabindra Parida of Bharatpur village.

Contacted, chief district agriculture officer (CDAO), Kendrapara Himanshu Mohan Mishra informed that the Agriculture department will receive more seeds as soon as farmers begin cultivation during monsoon.  “Many farmers are not dependent on the department for seeds since they purchase them from the markets. The paddy seeds would be sold through 118 primary agriculture cooperative societies in the district,” he added.

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