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Spurious seeds supplied to farmers in Kadapa

Spurious seeds supplied to farmers in Kadapa
Highlights

- Agri dept proposes distribution of 1.6 lakh seeds in Kharif, Rabi seasons - District facing drought-like conditions for the second consecutive...

kada2 - Agri dept proposes distribution of 1.6 lakh seeds in Kharif, Rabi seasons - District facing drought-like conditions for the second consecutive year - Govt declares 46 mandals in the district as drought-hit - APSDC not helpful in supplying quality seeds. Kadapa: The district agriculture department has sent a proposal to the Commissioner of Agriculture for the distribution of 1.60 lakh seeds of various types to the farmers as subsidies during the Kharif and Rabi seasons as they were facing drought-like conditions for the second consecutive year due to scanty rainfall. However, officials were expressing doubts whether it would be possible to distribute them as there was severe drought in the district. Facing severe criticism for handling the drought and failing to come to the rescue of the farmers, the government tried to wriggle out of the situation by distributing spurious and low quality seeds to the farmers. With such seeds, farmers were incurring heavy losses as the yield of crops was not good. Already, they were suffering due to lack of adequate rainfall. This year, the government had declared 46 mandals in the district as drought-hit. Even in other districts, the position of the farmers was not so encouraging. Most of the agricultural operations in Kadapa district depend heavily on rains. However, with the Rain God not showing any mercy, the crops have withered away pushing the farmers into a severe debt trap. As such, there seems to be no hope for the farmers. Furthermore, the government is also showing only a lukewarm response to the plight of the farmers. As it was only providing input subsidies to the farmers, they were not sufficient for the farmers to meet the expenses on cultivation. The AP Seeds Development Corporation, which was distributing low quality and spurious seeds, was not at all helpful to the farmers and they expressed their resentment recently to Health Minister D L Ravinder Reddy. The Joint Director of Agriculture Jonathan also apologized to the farmers in the presence of the media for supplying them spurious seeds. However, the farmers were unhappy that the government failed to take any action against the agencies that were responsible for supplying such seeds. There has been a criticism against the A.P. Seeds Development Corporation that it has become merely ornamental without being of much use for the farmers. They would have made some profits had the corporation purchased seeds grown by the farmers and distributed them to the farmers again. But this was not the case. As drought was a recurring phenomenon every year, the government has to do something for their welfare and supply them with the seeds. According to the estimates prepared by the Agricultural department, 60,000 quintals of groundnut seeds, 5,000 quintals of safflower seeds, 10,000 quintals of coriander seeds, 800 red gram seeds, 200 quintals of castor oil seeds, 1500 quintals of moth bean (pilli pesara) seeds, 350 quintals of black gram seeds and 60,000 quintals of Bengal gram seeds were proposed to be supplied to the farmers. It remains to be seen how the government responds to this demand.
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