Farmers worried over poor flowering of paddy and cotton crops

Even as farmers are being hit by successive natural calamities and the poor Minimum Support Price (MSP) being paid by private traders and brokers, spurious seed companies are heaping misery on farmers causing them much distress.

Several farmers who sowed paddy and cotton in the district are worried over the poor flowering of the crop after it came to light that substandard seeds were sown. Farmers could have lost nearly Rs.18,000 to Rs.20,000 per acre due to supply of spurious seed by some companies.

Lorry intercepted

Vigilance and Enforcement officials have begun cracking the whip on spurious seed suppliers in the district. A lorry carrying 42 quintals of fake cotton seed was intercepted at the Autonagar in Guntur in the early hours on Sunday. Vigilance sleuths took the trader and the lorry driver into custody.

The Vigilance Department also seized fake cotton and chilli seeds at Durgi and Rentachintala respectively, recently.

The Department of Agriculture Seed and Testing Lab has certified that the seized seed was of substandard quality and asked Joint Director of Agriculture to take steps to curb the sale of fake seeds.

Cases registered

During investigation, it was revealed that the fake seeds were being transported to the neighbouring districts on some brand from Guntur.

“We suspect that some fake seed manufacturing companies are operating from Guntur. Criminal cases have been registered against the trader and the vehicle driver. Vigilance officials are trying to find out the details of the fake companies and the persons involved in the racket,” said Regional Vigilance and Enforcement Officer R.N. Ammi Reddy.

Crop damaged

Joint Director of Agriculture A. Sridhar said that some traders had been found selling delinted seed from ginning mills in the guise of seeds. In some instances, some ‘rogue’ paddy seeds were also found to be sold to farmers. Meanwhile, BJP Kisan Morcha Guntur district president Kommineni Satyanarayana, Information Technology Cell district convener Y.V. Subba Rao and others visited the paddy crop at Siripuram village in Medikonduru mandal in the district on Monday and observed that the crop was damaged due to supply of spurious seed. Mr. Subba Rao said that the paddy crop was found to have grown fully but the shafts were devoid of flowers and grains. He demanded the Agriculture Department and A.P. State Seeds Development Corporation officials to intervene in the matter and book cases against spurious seed suppliers.