The NCP on Thursday demanded action against companies that sold fake seeds to soyabean farmers in Maharashtra. NCP state president and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, along with a delegation of party leaders, discussed the issue with Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse.
The NCP also presented a memorandum on the issue to Bhuse, which stated, “Farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada have sown soyabean. But unfortunately, the seeds did not germinate. As a result, farmers will have to go for second sowing.”
“The agriculture department should initiate quick and strong action against seed companies that supplied substandard stock to farmers… Such companies should be delisted and made to pay for the financial losses. Farmers should get compensation for their losses,” the memorandum added.
The NCP’s decision to present a memorandum to Bhuse, who is from Shiv Sena, has raised several eyebrows. A senior Sena minister, requesting anonymity, said, “The supply of substandard seeds by companies is a public knowledge. The agriculture minister has already promised action. There was no reason why NCP leaders had to raise the demand. The matter could have been discussed amongst ministers.”
However, the NCP said it was only bringing farmers’ problems to notice. “The idea was not to protest against Sena or agriculture minister. Since the issue of bogus seeds is a cause of concern affecting farmers, especially in Marathwada and Vidarbha, we wanted to highlight the same officially,” said an NCP leader.
Maharashtra is the biggest cultivator of soyabean, which is sown on 41 lakh hectares in the state.
Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation Ltd, also known as MAHABEEJ, is a nodal seed supplying company of the state. There are 38,479 seed suppliers across Maharashtra.
Last week, Opposition leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had demanded action against MAHABEEJ and compensation to farmers to recover their loss.