Seed industry facing crisis in Haryana

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Hisar, Nov 23: Haryana State Seed Producers Association has sought government intervention to save the seed industry from the ongoing crisis by providing it a "level playing field vis-a-vis the government agencies in the state." In a memorandum to the Union Agricultural Minister Sharad Pawar and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda, the association has sought introduction of the subsidy system in Haryana as was being followed in Punjab and Rajasthan.

The private producers are meeting 75 per cent of the total requirement of seeds in the state and now due to HAFED providing seeds at subsidised rates, the existence of this industry was in danger," association president Ravindra Gupta told the sources

Mr Gupta told that in Rajasthan and Punjab, the state governements had safeguarded the interests of seed producers by using the subsidy money to maintain a balance between farmers and seed producers but in Haryana "an imbalance has been created for which the NAFED is responsible." The Association has informed the government that in the same state two agencies of the government, namely Haryana Seed Development Corporation and HAFED were selling the seeds of wheat at different rates with a difference of Rs 455 and creating problems for the farmers as well as seed producers.

Last year, the government had helped the seed producers through special grants but this year no relief had been given to the seed producers, he rued.

"If such situation continued the seed industry would collapse and within one year the shortage of seeds would reach such a level that it would be difficult to overcome it even through heavy imports," he cautioned.

The Association has impressed upon the Chief Minister the need to take immediate remedial steps and told him that otherwise the quality of the seeds was certainly going to fall, Mr Gupta said.

UNI

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