Friday, June 17, 2011

Paddy seed crunch set to hit farming in W Odisha June 18, 2011 8:00:05 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, June 18, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back

Paddy seed crunch set to hit farming in W Odisha
June 18, 2011 8:00:05 AM

Even as the Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy assured the farmers in Balangir that adequate paddy seed would be supplied to the district within seven days during his visit last time in May, the ground realities reveal a different picture.

In Balangir and Subarnapur districts, even after a month to the Minister’s visit, paddy seed shortage problem remains unsolved.

According to sources, in Balangir district till June 16 against the requirement of 41, 000 quintals of paddy seeds, only 19,400 quintals have arrived. This is when the farming community is geared up for the sowing works.

Sources further revealed that by the time at least around 30,000 quintals of seeds should have been supplied and sold. With barely 50 per cent seed available, the sowing works are likely to be badly hit.

The most sought-after varieties by farmers are Puja and Swarnna, informs an official. In Sonepur district, the situation is almost the same.

Against the indent of 19, 500 quintals, only 8, 500 quintals have arrived. Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Sonepur Amreshwar Mishra said, “We face the problem of storage godown and transport contractors. In the absence of storage godowns, we are giving orders only after the stock is exhausted. We appeal people not to rush for Swarnna and Puja varieties. Other varieties like BPT should also be cultivated. The seed productions of the two varieties were affected badly due to unseasonal rains in last December.”

Reports of seed shortage have come from Nuapada district and Padampur sub division of Bargarh district too. Unless the required paddy seed is expeditiously supplied to farmers of different districts it could affect the Kharif production in the long run.

Meanwhile, villagers of Phalsamaal of Ratakhandi GP in Loisingha block of Balangir district have alleged gross irregularities in crop damage compensation to farmers recently and they have demanded a through inquiry into it. In a petition to the district Collector, they have mentioned that in the VAW and Gaon Sathi disbursed the crop damage compensation cheque to farmers. However, it was found that many people who have no land got cheques and those having land did not receive any compensation.

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