Seeds go waste as govt agri firms lock horns over price

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha State Seeds Corporation (OSSC) and Odisha Agro Industries Corporation (OAIC), the two government agencies responsible for supplying seeds at subsidized rates to state farmers seem to be heedless about the 70,000 quintals of groundnut seeds lying under the open sky. The reason: OSSC claims that farmers show interest in OAIC which sells seeds at much lower price than the government’s fixed price, leading to piling of seeds stock.

“Though the state government has fixed the selling price of groundnut seeds at Rs 48/kg, OAIC is disposing them to farmers at Rs 39/kg,” said Debashish Swain, MD, OSSC  adding the situation has led to non-clearance of the 70,000 quintals of seeds the government procured from Andhra Pradesh.

SAIC in turn scrapped the charge. “We are following the government guidelines and selling the seeds at Rs 48 per kg,” said Subrat Mishra, MD, SAIC.

Caught in the price war, the seeds have been left under the open sky for which OSSC reasoned lack of space in its ware houses.

The seeds meant for Rabi crop are supposed to reach farmers in Nayagarh, Khurda, Balasore and Puri districts through dealers and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), said sources. But the government is yet to make any arrangement for storage of the seeds worth lakhs of rupees.

It may be noted that farmers of coastal and western Odisha recently faced the wrath of hailstorms that forced them crop losses.