Telangana govt cracks down on sale of spurious seeds to farmers

Traders peddling spurious seeds have taken advantage of farmers’ interest in cultivating cotton crops in line with Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s recent ‘regulated cropping pattern’ announcement.
Busting spurious seeds
Busting spurious seeds
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Special wings of the Telangana Police are busting spurious seed sales on a daily basis across districts. The state government has decided to take stringent action against traders who are defrauding farmers by selling spurious seed material.

In May, several persons were arrested by the Mancherial Commissioner's Task Force for allegedly trading spurious cotton seeds. 

On Tuesday, Rachakonda Special Operations Team (SOT) arrested four persons while seizing 2.8 tonnes of spurious cotton seeds along with other material worth of Rs 50 lakh from their possession.

According to police, the accused are trading them to gullible farmers to make easy money. Rachakonda police said, “(They) earn easy money by selling spurious seed to gullible farmers by mixing the spurious seed with seed chemicals and packing the same in labeled covers of various brands.” 

The traders had planned to sell the seeds to farmers around Hyderabad, according to the police.

Further, the police found that the traders were selling spurious seeds at lower prices than government-approved prices.

As on 4 June, police have booked 13 people under the Preventive Detention Act.

Recently, Director General of Police M Mahendar Reddy and Agriculture Secretary B Janardhan Reddy held a video conference with District Superintendents Of Polices (SPs) and District Agriculture Officers. The DGP instructed field-level police officers to show zero tolerance against offenders involved in production, distribution and sale of spurious seeds by filing cases under the PD act.

In most cases, the spurious material is brought from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra by traders. According to officials, the Department of Agriculture has lodged as many as 87 cases against traders for cheating farmers by selling spurious seeds.

Speaking to TNM, Balu Naik, Joint Director-Agriculture (JDA) said that Agriculture Department officers and the police are working together to tackle the menace of spurious seeds at the district-level across the state.

He said, “They will lure the farmers with lower prices to the seed packs which appear similar to the original. Farmers are falling prey to such cheaters in their effort to reduce costs.”

He added, “Our officials are coordinating with police authorities to examine and verify the spurious seeds. Awareness programs are also being done, more stringent steps are being taken.”

The JDA urged farmers to be cautious about spurious seeds and asked them to report any suspicious material that is being sold in the name of ‘genuine seeds’.

Fraudulent traders are seemingly trying to make money out of ‘farmers’ interest’ in cultivation of cotton crops. This, in the wake of the ‘regulated cropping pattern’ recently announced by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao where he wanted 70 lakh acres of cotton crop in the state.


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