The State Agriculture Department has ordered a detailed probe into sale of spurious fertilizers after officials detected such cases in Hassan district.

Five persons have been arrested in connection with sale of spurious potash and its compounds at Sakleshpur and Belur taluks in Hassan.

Revealing this after chairing a videoconference with district officials, Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda on Monday told presspersons: “We have ordered a detailed probe into the matter as we intend to get to the source of this spurious potash. We have information that the sale is also on in various other parts of the State and investigation is on.”

No need to panic

Asserting that there is no need for farmers to panic, the Minister said: “Fortunately we have cracked down in the beginning of sowing season. Although the use of such spurious fertilizers will not have any side effects on the crop, it will not be of any help either.”

He called upon the farmers to inform the department if they found sale of spurious fertilizers in their villages. They can also call the Kisan call centre on 1800 180 1551.

Stating that his department had geared up to provide all assistance to farmers this sowing season, the Minister said: “With the State receiving good rains all over, sowing activities are likely to commence in the second week of June. As farmers might start sowing simultaneously, there could be a rush at the centres where seeds are sold to farmers at subsidised rates. So we have directed the district officials to start more centres if required.”

The State had procured 10.68 lakh quintals of seeds for distribution among farmers at subsidised prices (50 per cent), he said.

“During the video conference, I have directed officials to ensure farmers got the required seeds and fertilizers at the subsidised rates,” he said.

Support price

Mr. Byre Gowda said the minimum support price of groundnut and soyabean had been increased last week following a demand from farmers and elected representatives. While the price for groundnut had been hiked from Rs. 12 to Rs. 15 for old crop and Rs. 17 for the new crop, the price of soyabean had been increased from Rs. 12 to Rs. 15, he added.

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