Kendrapara, September 11 (LocalWire): The fate of a large number of paddy farmers in the coastal district on Kendrapara is hanging in balance due to spurious and expired paddy seeds supplied by a private-sector seed dealer.
Laxmidhar Sahoo of Bhitaragada village under Rajnagar block sowed paddy on his two-acre land last month.
After two weeks, the crop grew to the normal size and looked healthy, but he noticed the problem when the crop started to show signs of flowering.
“The early flowering is a clear indication of spurious seeds.
I am worried as I will not get any paddy crops from my field.
I do not know how to repay my debt,” Sahoo said, adding that paddy crops need two months for flowering.
The story of Prasant Kumar Pradhan of Sanabadagopalpur is not much different.
“I had sown paddy on three acres of land three weeks back.
But recently paddy crops started to flower due to spurious seeds.
I purchased paddy seeds from Baba Garteswar seed supply center at village Garjanapur,” he said.
“There is a need for immediate intervention by the government to come to the rescue of around 20,000 farmers of mostly Rajnagar, Rajkanika, and Aul areas and take action against the seed supplier responsible for this situation,” Krusak Sabha district unit vice-president Madhab Das said.
He further demanded that the government should pay compensation to the farmers.
“Seeds being the most critical agricultural input, any defect in it make agriculture a dangerous gamble,” the farmers’ leader stated.
“As per the advice of the block agriculture officer, a large number of farmers including me raised hybrid paddy seeds.
But the untimely flowering of paddy crops has ruined our hopes of a good harvest,” Ashok Behera of Gosigaon said.
When contacted the Rajnagar block agricultural officer Lipsa Priyadarsani said that a team of agricultural scientists from the Kendrapara Krishi Vignya Kendra was rushed to the affected areas to investigate the reasons behind early flowering in the paddy crop.
“During our inquiry, we found that many farmers had purchased expired paddy seeds from some seller that has a result in the early flowering of the crop.
We always advise farmers to purchase certified seeds and use good quality of fertilisers, pesticides and sufficient water for the germination,” the officer said.
The officer also stated that the administration will take stern actions against those who sold the expired seeds to the farmers.