Farmers told to purchase certified seeds for better yield

Action warned against traders selling spurious seeds

Farmers should compulsorily purchase certified seeds from authorised traders for potato cultivation. Legal action will be taken against those traders selling substandard quality of seeds in the district, warned Deputy Commissioner Deepti Kanade.

She was speaking at a preliminary meeting to discuss about potato cultivation organised by the Horticulture department here on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by the traders, farmer leaders and the representatives of the Horticulture department.

Farmers should not go for low-quality seeds which are available at a cheaper rate and thereby compromise with the quality. This would only lead to low quality production and thereby bring in only loss for the cultivators. Only quality seeds can ensure quality yield and the traders should also sell only quality seeds. Usually there will be variation in the weight of a 50 kg bag of seeds. Slight variation up to one or one-and-a-half kg is not a matter of concern. However, a larger variation in weight should be brought to the notice of the trader, she said.

District unit president of the Raitha Sangha Bhaktarahalli Bhairegowda said, “For the last three years, the farmers from the district had been facing potato crop loss. It is better to take all the precautionary measures. The traders who sell seeds should also provide bills for the goods sold. Measures should be taken to halt the private traders who are engaged in the sale of  low quality seeds.

Not sufficient
The traders informed the meeting that only a couple of companies sold certified seeds. However, this was not sufficient to meet the demand for certified seeds that is required in the district.

Senior Assistant Director of the Horticulture department, Munegowda said the traders from the district often purchased potato seeds belonging to a general variety from the farmers of Jalandhar.  However, there are a number of seed selling centres which have been certified by the National Seeds Coporation in Punjab, which sell certified seeds. Our farmers can purchase from these centres also, he informed.

The deputy commissioner said that a list of certified sellers will be handed over the Horticulture department. The traders can purchase seeds from these sellers.

For the first time in Hassan district, certified seeds were distributed by the Horticulture department directly to the farmers’ houses, on an experimental basis. The certified potato seeds were sold at a subsidised rate and the department has supplied 2,800 tonnes of seeds. And there have been reports of good yield too from the district. In order to distribute seeds on the similar lines in Chikkaballapur, an aeroponics project has been created, informed Munegowda.

The deputy commissioner said, “The farmers should transplant the potato plants during the period which is most suitable and recommended by the scientists and the traders should not sell the seeds before the stipulated time, she said.

The potatoes, if cultivated between 18 and 22 degree celcius, will give a good yield. Such warmth in the atmophere is reported in the September-October months in Chikkaballpur. Hence, the potato produce should be transplanted between October 15 and Novermber 30, according to the experts, Kanade informed.

A few traders informed the meeting that the sale of seeds had already begun at Bangarpet in Kolar district. Most of the farmers from Chikkaballapur were visiting Bangarpet to purchase the seeds.  This should be avoided.

Kanade assured them that she would be speaking with Kolar deputy commissioner in this regard.

Biggest centre
The district has the biggest potato seeds producing centre. But so far, it has not produced any seeds at all. The centre should start the production of seeds and provide them to the farmers, the meeting was informed.

Taluk unit president of the Raitha Sangha Maralukunte Ramanjinappa, joint secretary C B Shrinivas, leaders S Eshwarachari, S Ramesh, Taduru Manjunath, Potato Traders’ Association president R Vijaykumar, vice-president Ramaswamy, traders Prabhakar, R H Narayanswamy, Venkatesh, Mohan Murali, Horticulture department deputy director B Raghu, APMC secretary Ramdas, Agriculture Marketing department assistant director Bathula, tahsildar and several others were present on the occasion.

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