Report from Amarnath Parida; Jagatsinghpur: Non-procurement of certified seeds from the farmers, non-availability of bags and nexus relation between the officials and private seed procurement agency have worsened the situation in Jagatsinghpur district causing acute shortage of paddy seeds and huge loss by the farmers of different seed village programme.
Orissa State Seeds Corporation is the nodal agency to lift the certified seeds from the farmers of seed village programme after supplying foundation seeds to them. It had supplied different varieties of paddy seeds Pratikha, CR1014, CR1018, varsha, Rakhi, CR 1030, BPT and others to the hundreds of farmers under this programme. Local farmers had purchased these varieties of seed from corporation at the rate of Rs 630 per packet weighing 30 kgs.
After purchasing these varieties of seeds, these farmers registered their name at seed certificate office, Cuttack at the rate of Rs 275 per hector in which they grown paddy seeds in their respective agricultural land for procurement of certified seeds. After procurement, a team led by assistant seed procurement officer and seed certificate officer undertook joint survey in these seed villages in the month of November for assessment of their procurement and fixation of the quantity of certified seeds to be lifted by corporation through seed procurement center, Nimakana of this district.
It is found that this team had fixed nearly 40 to 50 quintals of seeds to be lifted from each farmer and also fixed to procure these certified seeds from them at the cost of Rs 1500 per quintal. Local farmers have alleged that seed procurement centre at Niamakana has been stopped the procurement of seeds from last 15th May as result hundreds of farmers have failed to supply their certified seeds to corporation in which they are selling it in half rate to local private paddy traders . This has leaded the acute shortage of paddy seeds in rural areas of this district as result farmers have faced huge loss in seed village programme.
The paddy seeds like Pratikha, CR 1014 are higher requirement than other varieties of seeds for local farmers but single kg of such varieties of seeds have not yet collected from seed village farmers. On the other hand, seed village farmers have also alleged that officials of OSSC have developed nexus relation with some private seed procurement agency so these officials are minting money from these agencies to procure certified seeds from them ignoring farmers by violating the director of agriculture department who had directed the OSSC to procure these seeds from seed village famers on priority basis.
One seed village farmer Askhya Kumar Pradhan of Kulashai village has expressed ‘ he procured nearly 45 quintals of certified seeds while officials of OSSC has been lifted only 15 quintals of seeds and rest seeds have sold to private traders on half rate to compensate the loss. We have returned with harassment from procurement center due to non-receiving our seeds’- he added.
Other farmers have alleged ‘ one racket is in active to lift these paddy seeds from different private seed procurement agencies on higher rate Rs 2200 instead of Rs 1500 from farmers so officials of OSSC have broken the backbones of large number of farmers by not lifting certified seeds from them. They have urged to conduct an inquiry against this racket. Artificial shortages of paddy seeds have forced the famers to purchase seeds from the seed merchants by paying more money’ –they added.
One seed production officer has expressed that non-availability of bags has compelled to close our center in which procurement of seeds from farmers have been affected in this year. On the other hand, district agriculture officer Mr Nilamani Dash has informed that out of 5630 quintals of seeds, only 3500 quintals of seeds have supplied to this district so far.
Managing director, OSSC Dr Debasish Swain has confessed ‘we have received allegations regarding non-procurement of seeds from farmers so corporation would conduct an inquiry after taking the consent of concerned marketing and production officer.