Special Correspondent

75,000 quintals of seed to meet the needs of farmers

Marketing committees to supply seeds

Village committees asked to identify Bengal gram ryots

ONGOLE: The State Government has streamlined distribution of Bengal gram seed to ensure that all genuine farmers get the seed of their choice at 50 per cent subsidy in the ensuing rabi season.

As the government drew flak from all corners for ham-handed distribution of seed last year, it made elaborate arrangements to benefit the farmers and avoid criticism this year.

It has allotted 75,000 quintals of seed as indented by the agricultural officers to meet the needs of all farmers to raise the crop on over 2.5 lakh acres in Prakasam district before October end.

Arrangements are being made to supply the seed through marketing committees, Agros, primary agricultural societies etc to Bengal gram farmers who have already been identified.

Faulty distribution

Though the government spent heavily on subsidy, the seed did not reach the farmers due to faulty distribution system before. As there was no way to identify Bengal gram farmers, the officials distributed the seed to all farmers which led to misuse.

Farmers who do not grow Bengal gram gave away their passbooks to brokers who garnered the subsidy by selling the seed as grain in open market. But Bengal gram farmers did not take the seed because they wanted bold varieties while government supplied traditional varieties.

The subsidised seed thus went waste. Keeping these problems in view, the government adopted a systematic approach this year. The government also constituted village committees with revenue and agricultural officers to identify Bengal gram farmers. The lists are published in the panchayats. Stocks would be placed at identified market yards, cooperative societies or Agros to sell 62.5 kg to each identified farmer to raise the crop on two hectares.