Spurious seeds add to Telangana farmers cup of woes

Telangana farmers who are cheated with spurious seeds (Representational Image)
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Telangana farmers who are cheated with spurious seeds (Representational Image)

Highlights

  • Besides spurious, unapproved seeds flood TS markets
  • Seeds come from Gujarat, Karnataka, AP and Maharashtra; Most of the seeds are cotton and chilli
  • TS invoked Preventive Detention Act against traders selling such seeds

Hyderabad: Lack of coordinated efforts by some neighbouring states is taking a toll on hundreds of Telangana farmers who are cheated with spurious, and unapproved seeds. Most of these seeds are coming from Gujarat, Karnataka, AP and Maharashtra.

It may be mentioned here that Telangana is the only state which has brought the sale of spurious seeds and fertilisers under the Preventive Detention Act. Still, the inflow of such seeds is growing.

Speaking to The Hans India, an official said that so far 446 people were arrested, and 311 cases were filed. In most of the cases, officials seized spurious seeds of cotton and chilli. He said 949 quintals of cotton seeds worth Rs 6.18 crore were seized.

The sale of Rs 70.9 crore worth of 20,561 quintals of cotton and chilli, and other seeds have been stopped and samples of these seeds were sent for testing.

Officials say that a well-oiled network of distribution channels and shops were operating. In most of the cases, those distributing and selling spurious seeds have been arrested but the companies manufacturing the same were literally going scot-free.

It has been noticed that the spurious seeds were entering Telangana from Guntur and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, Raichur in Karnataka, besides, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The officials said that a coordinated effort by all these states was the only way to stop this menace.

They further said that samples from 59 places in Telangana have revealed the farmers had sown Herbicide Tolerant (HT) Bt cotton varieties.

Cultivating HT Bt cotton is illegal as they have not got approval from the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC). Cases were filed against some but none of the companies has been named for the production and distribution of HT Bt cotton, they said.

State Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said that the State Government is acting tough against those engaged in the distribution and sale of spurious seeds.

"Cases were filed under Section 6(A) of the Essential Commodities Act and the PD Act was invoked against those found as habitual offenders engaged in the crime on multiple occasions. Licences of two such dealers in Khammam was also cancelled," he said.

He said, "An advance action plan will be prepared to keep an eye on the seed production industries, processing units and other producers from February."

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