Tiruppur farmers don’t reap what they sowed, blame ‘outdated’ seeds
Farmers who bought seeds from the Seed Centre at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) alleged that they had been given outdated seeds as they did not germinate.
Published: 20th October 2021 10:08 AM | Last Updated: 20th October 2021 10:08 AM | A+A A-
TIRUPPUR: Farmers who bought seeds from the Seed Centre at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) alleged that they had been given outdated seeds as they did not germinate. Those from Udumalaipet and Gudimangalam in Tiruppur district also said the seed labels had misinformation about packing date and expiry date.
K Ramachandran, a farmer who bought ridge gourd seeds from the Seed Centre a few months ago, said the label on the seed pack mentioned the packing date as 27-7-2021, while the expiry date was written as 17-7-2021. Speaking to TNIE, he said, "I, along with my friends, bought seeds of ridge gourd, snake gourd and papaya crops from the seed centre at TNAU on July 26. The same day I showed the seeds in my farmland. I provided fertilisers and a regular water supply. However, the seeds still did not germinate. I was shocked as I had bought the seeds by spending a few thousand rupees. Later, I forgot about it and proceeded to carry out other agricultural activities."
Meanwhile, the farmer continued, last week he heard a group of farmers complaining that the seeds that they had bought also had not germinated. "Shocked, I searched for the pack of ridge gourd seeds lying in my house. On finding it, I went through the content of the label and was taken aback as the label had mentioned the packing date as 27-7-2021 but the expiry date as 17-7-2021. How can that be possible? All the seeds that I had bought had failed to germinate. I believe the TNAU had packed outdated seeds. I have petitioned higher officials," Ramachandran said.
Tamil Nadu Farmers Protection Association president A Esan said farmers chose to buy seeds from TNAU as they believed the seed centre there packed the seeds properly. "But how can the expiry date predate the packing date? I have asked the farmers to go through the label carefully. We demand severe action against the officials and workers involved in the incident," he said.
A TNAU official told TNIE that the issue could have arisen out of human error. "The seed centre in TNAU is run for the welfare of farmers. I have asked officials to examine the seed lots that had been kept for sale. Also, I have told officials to conduct two purity tests on the seeds from these lots. Action will be taken based on the test report," he assured.