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Govt focuses on hybrid maize cultivation in 21 dists this year
June 16, 2011 12:57:54 AM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

Apparently worried over the reports in media against Monsanto company and other multinational seed companies entering into the State to boost hybrid maize production last year, this year a special drive to augment maize production in the Odisha has been taken with seed companies under Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana(RKVY).

According to sources, this year maize cultivation has been taken up in 40,000hectares in Odisha against the last year’s 30,000hectares with the help of seven seed companies namely JKAgri Genetics Limited, Bisco Bio- Sciences Pvt Ltd, UPA Advanta Ltd, Bayer Bio –Science Ltd, PHI Seeds PVT limited, CP seeds Pvt Ltd, Nirmal Seeds Pvt Seeds Ltd and MAHYCO seeds Pvt Ltd.

The cultivation has been taken up in 21districts namely, Ganjam, Sonepur, Mayurbhanj, Nuapada, Jharsuguda, Gajapati, Nayagarh, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Sambalpur, Baragarh, Koraput, Malkangiri, Angul, Keonjhar, Kandhmaal, Boudh, Khurdha, Dhenkanal, Sundergarh and Rayagada over 40,000hectares. While last year Monsanto was allowed to take up maize cultivation in Balangir district, this year Bayer Bio-Science Ltd has been allowed to cultivate hybrid maize in the district.

The target of maize cultivation in Balangir this year is 2, 000 hectares and the variety approved for cultivation is PRO AGRO 4644, informed DDA Manoranjan Mallick.

Last year, the companies were supplying seeds and also their responsibility was to arrange training and field visit. However, this year there has been a change. According to guidelines, the selected farmer for the programme will purchase seeds from the company or authorized license dealer at Rs.100 per kg and obtain a valid cash memo. After the purchase, the farmer will take up the cultivation programme in his field and apply the basal dose of fertilizer in proper quantity and the line sowing with proper spacing.

After the sowing is completed, the farmers will produce the seed purchase memo to the BTT (block technology team)/AAO and will get money for fertiliser and other inputs. Before getting the cheque, the farmers will have to produce a permit issued by FIAC (Farm Information and Advisory Centre).

This year, an NGO has been involved in the operation that will ensure the application of basal dose and motivation to farmers’ registration and facilitation of training. Before release of the cheque, there would be field visit by the agriculture officials.

While the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) will ensure the timely arrival of seeds, the seed companies will organise one training programme for each 100 hectares and will organise at least one field day for 500 hectares at their own cost.

This year, there was a lot of uncertainty about the mode of cultivation but finally it was decided in the first week of June.
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