Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy has stated that the Government is actively examining establishment of fast-track courts for taking up cases against spurious seed sellers as such a facility would help punish the culprits without loss of much time.
He along with Minister for Home Md. Mahamood Ali asked the task force teams comprising agriculture and police officials formed to control and prevent the sale of spurious seed as also the sale of herbicide-tolerant (HT) cotton seed, which is not approved, and herbicide glyphosate to make efforts so that toil of farmers would not go waste.
In a video conference held from Hyderabad on Saturday with Superintendents of Police of districts, District Agriculture Officers and Agriculture Extension Officers as part of the plans to prevent the sale of spurious seed ahead of the next kharif season, Mr. Niranjan Reddy said the problem of spurious seed was high in cotton and chilli crops and farmers were generally going for uncertified and spurious seed as they were cheap compared to certified and quality seed.
Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy, Secretary (Agriculture) M. Raghunandan Rao, Rachakonda and Cyberabad Police Commissioners Mahesh M. Bhagwath and Stephen Ravindra, respectively, Additional DG (Intelligence) Anil Kumar, Inspectors General of Police V. Nagi Reddy, D.S. Chauhan and Rajesh, Special Commissioner (Agriculture) Hanumant K. Zendage, District Collector of Rangareddy D. Amoy Kumar and Managing Director of Telangana State Seed Development Corporation K. Keshavulu participated in the meet from Hyderabad.
Speaking at the meet, Mr. Niranjan Reddy said farmers were going for spurious seed due to lack of knowledge in many cases as herbicides could be used to address the weed problem in such seed reducing labour charges for weeding. Effective implementation of ban on the sale of glyphosate could also bring down the sale of spurious seed, he felt and appealed to farmers not to go for spurious seed for the simple reason that they were available at lower price.
Asking the task force teams to stick to the guidelines issued for their inspection and registration of cases, the Minister suggested they they do not create fear among seed sellers in the name of inspection. However, they were free to take stern action including registration of cases against the seed sellers found with spurious seed only after confirming that the seed found was spurious.
He also suggested that they not seize shops for not exhibiting stock details of seed and pesticide and give them an opportunity for it before resorting to action.