Farmers hit streets demanding probe into seed supply irregularities

Balasore: Demanding a high-level inquiry into alleged irregularities in seed supply, farmers in Balasore along with members of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan on Tuesday staged demonstration in front of the District Collectorate.

The protestors alleged that seeds provided to them were of low quality.

“They do not sprout and are not fit for agricultural activities.  The seeds supplied to us are left over of those processed at the Odisha Seeds plant at Rajaghat under Basta block,” rued an agitating farmer .

Demanding legal action against the accused officials and corrupt traders including owner of the duplicate processing plant, Member of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan, Arun Jena said that they would submit a memorandum seeking fulfilment of their five point charter of demands to Chief Minister through the Balasore Collector.

Activists of Balasore District Youth Congress also gheraoed the Seed Corporation office and demanded probe.

Youth Congress leader Arijit Ghoshal stated, “Farmers of Balasore are affected by a massive seed corruption in the district. The Congress will not remain a mute spectator when livelihood of farmers is being affected. In coming days, we will hit roads for the sake of farmers.”

As per the charges, the Seeds Corporation had signed agreement with two private seed processing companies for supply of seeds to farmers. However the seeds provided was of poor quality and are of no use, the farmers alleged.

Meanwhile officials of the Seeds Corporation informed that ten quintals of seeds were damaged by rodents. However the remaining stock has been cleaned and processed.

Balasore District Seed Corporation official, Chandra Sekhar Padhi, said, “The seeds were supplied  to farmers after cleaning. However, if any irregularities by Odisha seeds are found as per allegations, we will cancel the agreement and not procure any seeds from them.”