Jalandhar: After failing to get good return for a bumper potato crop, farmers in Doaba region were in for a rude shock, as they were being fleeced in the name of spring season hybrid maize and sunflower seeds in the market.
The farmers have reported a steep hike in the prices of spring maize and sunflower seeds sown in the month of February, hence posing trouble for them.
They also reported that the seeds were not available in the market.
Recently, farmers from Doaba region also met Deputy Commissioner Kamal Kishor Yadav highlighting the steep hike in prices of the seeds. The farmers were dependent on the dealers to get the spring season maize and sunflower seeds, as the Agriculture Department provide seeds for the Kharif season crop ie from June to October.
However, as soon as these reports surfaced, the agriculture department swung into action and issued a press note stating that there was no shortage of these seeds in the market.
The agriculture department officials also assured the farmers that the seeds were available at subsidized rates. Notably, the spring season maize and sunflower crops sown in the month of February and March were harvested in the month of June.
It is pertinent to mention here that the spring maize seed was usually available at Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,400 per 4 kilograms. “But, now we were getting the seeds at Rs 2,100 to Rs 2,200 per 4 kg bag in the market, which was sheer harassment of the farmers by the dealers”, said Surinder Singh, a farmer.
The farmers maintained that similarly, spring sunflower seeds were also available at Rs 2,600 to Rs 3,000 per 4 kg bag. They also highlighted that the dealers had not given them the invoice of the seeds purchased, hence concealing the steep hike in the prices of the maize and sunflower seeds.
District Agriculture Officer Jugraj Singh stated that the department swung into action after shortage and hike in seeds prices were reported. “The spring season seeds of maize and sunflower were easily available in the market. Though sowing of maize and sunflower required a lot of water but under crop diversification and after the harvesting of potato crops, farmers in Doaba prefer to sow the spring season crops”, he said.
The District Agriculture Officer also highlighted that last year (2016-2017) a total of 10,000 hectare of area was covered under spring season maize crop in Jalandhar. Similarly, 800 acres of area was covered under sunflower crop in Doaba region last year. “We have appealed the farmers to approach the district agriculture department in case of any problem and assistance”, he said.
He also said that under crop diversification, they have been motivating the farmers to sow pulses and sunflower crop in the region. “Seeds certified by the Punjab Agricultural University would be made available to the farmers at subsidized rates”, he added.
Meanwhile, the agriculture officials have also asked the farmers to report any such lapses to them directly and also sought a report regarding seed prices and the stock available with them.
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