1. Agriculture World

Farmers Shift to High Breed Varieties Due to Lack of Buyers for Subsidized Seeds

Despite the fact that the state government provides farmers with rice seed subsidies, around 65% of the district's land has been grown with high breed types.

Kritika Madhukar
Last Kharif, the agriculture department established a target of supplying 16,600 quintals of paddy seeds to the district, but only 13,800 quintals were provided.
Last Kharif, the agriculture department established a target of supplying 16,600 quintals of paddy seeds to the district, but only 13,800 quintals were provided.

Farmers are suspicious about spending more than twice as much for government-supplied seeds and then waiting for the subsidy to be transferred back into their accounts via direct benefit transfer.

According to sources, to promote transparency and remove corruption, the government set the price per quintal of paddy seeds at Rs 3,380, with a Rs 1,380 refund. However, the refund will be sent to the farmer's account at a later period in the form of a subsidy.

Farmers, on the other hand, pay only Rs 1,800 per quintal of high-breed seeds purchased straight from the market. Only 2,400 quintals of paddy seeds given by the government were sold this year.

According to government estimates, the district would require around 50,000 quintals of paddy seeds for cultivation on 1,30,000 hectares (ha) of land.

After cultivating a government seed, the rice produced can be utilized as seed for up to three years. So, the umerkote district only needs 17,000 quintals of paddy seeds, which are scheduled to be distributed to farmers in the area this year. According to reports, farmers have farmed around 65% of the area using good-breed seeds.

Last Kharif, the agriculture department established a target of supplying 16,600 quintals of paddy seeds to the district, but only 13,800 quintals were provided.

According to Bijay Kumar Patnaik, an additional agricultural officer, the department is attempting to raise awareness among farmers to grow government paddy seeds rather than high-breed seeds on their property. 

"Once acquired, government paddy seeds can be used for three more seasons. Purchasing government seeds is thus beneficial when compared to high-breed seeds," Patnaik explained.

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