They suffered crop failure after using transgenic seeds
SALEM: Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam distributed compensation to 87 cotton farmers who had suffered crop failure after using transgenic seeds of a multinational firm.
At the function organised near Omalur on Sunday, the Minister said that a total of 125 farmers in Kadaiyampatti, who took up cotton cultivation on 193 acres of land using the transgenic seeds of a private seed firm, suffered crop loss.
The State Government had taken up special initiative and asked the seed firm to compensate the affected farmers.
Following this, the firm had come forward to provide a sum of Rs. 9.65 lakh (at the rate of Rs. 5,000 for an acre) as compensation to the farmers, he said. The remaining farmers would be given compensation shortly, he added.
The Minister also stressed the need for educating farmers on transgenic seeds.
It was the responsibility of agriculture officials and seed firms to make farmers aware of the cultivation methods, application of fertilisers and pest management while using such seeds.
Many farmers in Tamil Nadu who used such seeds had witnessed high yields, while a few had suffered crop loss.
The Government had allowed the sale of such seeds after proper research, he said.
The Minister also handed over five new vehicles purchased at a cost of Rs. 21.25 lakh to the officials of seed certification department.
District Revenue Officer M. Rajarathinam presided over the function. Joint Director of Agriculture Janagan, Mettur Revenue Divisional Officer Shanthi and senior officials were present.