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Paddy seed scarcity hits farmers hard

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Jeypore, Odisha : Farmers of Jeypore sub-division are now running from pillar to post seeking paddy seeds to begin agricultural works. The seed stocked by the farmers was washed away in the recent floods.

About 50 per cent of crop land in the area have not been cultivated for scarcity of seeds in both private and Government outlets in the district.

In the kharif season, the district agriculture officials had targeted to cultivate paddy in 1.40 lakh acres in Jeypore sub-division. For the purpose, 40,000 quintals of seeds were required.

Though the seeds should have reached the farmers by third week of this month, those are yet to arrive. So far, the farmers have sown seeds procured from outside the district in only 70,000 acres.

The much sought after seed varieties like Lalat, 1001 and Puja are not available. “We lost our paddy seed stock in the recent floods. When we approached the Government and private outlets, they were either closed or had no stock,” said Sada Tripathy, a farmer leader of Konkodahandi.

On the other hand, some unscrupulous traders are trying to take advantage of the situation by offering paddy seeds at higher rate.

Sources alleged that the seeds sold by these traders are not even certified by the Seed Verification Authority of Odisha.

Several pani panchayat leaders met the authorities concerned recently and sought Government intervention in the issue.

District Seeds Production Officer KCH Panda said Government seed production centres had distributed 18,000 quintals of paddy seeds for this kharif season prior to the flood in the region two weeks back.

 “We are aware of the shortage situation and necessary action would be taken soon,” he added.

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