Seed Industry News: Farmers are Unable to Afford Certified Seeds.

Ludhiana: This season cash-strapped farmers have been forced to sow uncertified wheat seed, because of faced with regular crop failure. This despite the Agriculture Department offering subsidy and Punjab Agricultural University organising awareness drives regularly.

A seed producer specifies that farmers are unable to afford certified seeds because of the financial crisis and they are sowing wheat stored at their home. To farmers have also kept farmers away from using certified seeds, tardy procedures of the Agricultural Department to give seed subsidy.

Farmers submit the permit at authorised shops or cooperative agencies to get the seed. Farmers have to submit application to get Rs 400 per acre subsidy on seed. Department officials then issue permits for the seed.

To get the subsidy they have to then submit the bill and bank account details with the agriculture office. Farmers avoid going through the lengthy paperwork to avail of the subsidy on certified seeds.

“We have observed a sharp fall in the sale of certified seeds this season. Farmers are in deep crisis because of regular crop failure and cannot afford certified seed,” said Jagtar Singh, owner of a private seed firm.

The PAU initially increased the rates of seed of early sown varieties. This kept cash-strapped farmers from purchasing seed from the university. The PAU decided to lower the rates of HD 2967 and WH 1105 wheat varieties after 70% crop had already been sown.

“We have received receipts amounting to Rs 1.5 crore from farmers availing subsidy so far. Funds for 15,000 quintal wheat seed have been released. We are in the process of transferring money to the accounts of farmers,” Sukhpal Singh Sekhon, Chief Agriculture Officer.

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