‘94.9 tonnes of spurious seed seized, another 2,056 T withheld from sale’

Apart from registering criminal cases, taking into custody under the Preventive Detention Act, the State government has also cancelled licences of a few dealers indulging in sale of spurious seed and also for changing the price tag and labels, Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy stated here on Monday.

The task force teams comprising the police and agriculture department officials against the spurious seed menace have seized about 94.9 tonnes of inferior quality and uncertified seed worth ₹6.18 crore and sale of another 2,056.1 tonnes of cotton, chilli and other seed sales were stopped due to various violations so far this season.

He explained that a total of 311 criminal cases were registered against those indulging in spurious seed sale and 446 persons were arrested so far. Another three cases were registered under Section 6(A) of the Essential Commodities Act and Preventive Detention Act was invoked against seven habitual/repeat offender for indulging in spurious seed sale repeatedly.

Stating that the menace of spurious seed is high mostly in cotton and chilli seed, the Minister said most of the spurious seed traders are based out of Andhra Pradesh (Guntur and Kurnool), Karnataka (Raichur), Maharashtra and Gujarat. Licences of two dealers were cancelled in Khammam for selling chilli seed without approval and licences of two others were cancelled in Adilabad for changing the price labels.

Mr. Niranjan Reddy said samples of the seed seized by task force teams and the ones which were not allowed to be sold were being sent to seed testing labs for further examination and for taking up necessary follow-up action. He pointed that the unscrupulous elements were indulging in the sale of spurious seed, fertilizer and pesticides with the help of loopholes in the laws concerned.

As a result, the State government had brought the sale of spurious seed, fertilizer and pesticide sale under the PD Act in 2017 and a total of 32 cases were registered under the provisions so far, the Minister said adding that Telangana is the only State in the country invoking the PD Act against the spurious seed sellers/producers.

Ht cotton

On herbicide tolerant (Ht) cotton seed, which is not approved in the country, the Minister said seed samples were collected at 59 places, wherever the task force teams had suspicion, and after examining/testing the samples, action was initiated against four persons as the samples collected from them had the banned Ht cotton seed.

To prevent the entry of spurious seed into market the State government is planning to step up vigil on seed production companies, processing units and dealers from February next year, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 8:23:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/949-tonnes-of-spurious-seed-seized-another-2056-t-withheld-from-sale/article34889188.ece

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