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Soya germination failure: Seed industry locks horns with Maharashtra govt

Mon July 06 2020

 

Seed Industries Association of Maharashtra has demanded that the State government must reconsider its decision to file police cases against seed companies on farmers’ complaints about early germination failure of Soyabean seeds. It demanded that the government must appoint a committee to probe germination failure.

 

The association President Ajeet Mulay in a recent letter to State Agriculture Commissioner said filing FIRs against seed companies will result in long term adverse consequences. “Already the seed industry is shifting to neighbouring States. This shifting of companies to other States will gain momentum if this situation (filing of cases against companies) prevails,” he said.

 

Share of private seed companies in seed distribution in Maharashtra is about 60 per cent, according to the industry body, which represents 77 seed companies. It has attributed various reasons including sowing time for failure of early germination.

 

SB Wankhede, Executive Director SIAM told BusinessLine that farmers receive certified seeds from government agencies and private companies provide seeds only after thorough check in laboratories. “It seems that natural condition has led to the germination problem. Soya is a delicate crop. Its seeds must be sown only after 77 to 100 mm rainfall. This year early rains started because of Nisarga and farmers sowed even before sufficient rainfall started” said Wankhede. He added lack of moisture in the soil, deep sowing, and accumulation of soil layers has led to early germination failure.

 

The State government after receiving complaints from farmers had assured stringent action. “There are cases of people with nefarious intentions duping farmers with bogus seeds. I promise you that we will find and punish these people who have cheated our farmers,” said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recently. State Agriculture Minister Dadaji Bhuse asked district officials to collect the relevant information from farmers and submit reports.

 

In a letter to Bhuse, the seed association has said that farmers have complained about Soya seeds provided by all companies including the State government's ‘Mahabeej’ brand. “Seeds provided by all companies cannot be faulty. Also, there are no complaints about other seeds (except Soya),” it said.

 

Source: Hindu business line.

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