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Farmers flag ‘adulterated’ cabbage seeds; Gujarat government says firms should compensate

The issue was raised in Gujarat Assembly, on Thursday, by the Chief Whip of Opposition Congress and an MLA from Khedbrahma constituency of Sabarkantha district, Ashwin Kotwal, as a question of short notice.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
March 26, 2021 4:51:36 am
farmers newsWith farmers set to get busy with harvesting duties, the Delhi morcha will be sustained with help from trade unions, which will also use the same stage to highlight the changes in labour laws (file)

THE GUJARAT government has received complaints from some farmers from Prantij in Sabarkantha district about “counterfeit” or “adulterated” seeds of cabbage that may result in losses for them. Following the complaint, the state government has initiated action and made the companies concerned liable to pay compensation if the farmers suffer losses.

The issue was raised in Gujarat Assembly, on Thursday, by the Chief Whip of Opposition Congress and an MLA from Khedbrahma constituency of Sabarkantha district, Ashwin Kotwal, as a question of short
notice.

Kotwal put forward the grievance of the farmers that they had sowed cabbage seeds of a private company in their farms and now they don’t see any chance of head formation (ball formation) in the plants. In such a circumstances, Kotwal asked, if the state government would give compensation to the farmers.

Agriculture minister R C Faldu gave a detailed reply to the question while adding that primarily it does not seem to be a case of counterfeit or adulterated seeds. The seeds in question are of NS-196 variety of cabbage produced by a private company called Namdhari Seeds Private Limited.

Faldu said that Gujarat farmers have done plantation of cabbage in 3937 hectare area in the state. “Of those (3937 hectare), NS-196 variety has been planted by 94 farmers in 105 hectare area.” “At Vadvasa (village of Prantij tehsil of Sabarkantha district), cabbage plantation has been done in 185 hectare area. Out of those (185 hectare area), 33 farmers have done plantation of NS-196 variety of cabbage produced by Namdhari Seeds company in 61.5 hectare area. Out of those 33 farmers, 28 have complained that now they don’t have hope of head formation (ball formation) in the plants,” Faldu added.

The agriculture minister added that the state government has already issued a show cause notice to the seeds producing company while a team of agriculture department also visited the farms of the 28 farmers for spot inspection. He added that primary finding of the visiting team is that there are no circumstances to say that the crop will fail. The team has also arrived at a finding that head formation (ball formation) in the plants will begin in 15-20 days. Faldu also added that primarily there is no evidence to say that the seeds were counterfeit or adulterated.

Despite that, Faldu added, the state government had taken the seed producing company into a binding to compensate the farmers if their crop fails. “The company’s regional manager has given an assurance that if the plants don’t have head formation (ball formation) in 90 days, they are liable to pay compensation to the farmers for their loss,”
Faldu said.

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