BHAWANIPATNA: AFTER having scored the highest among other districts for five consecutive years, Kalahandi might face a setback this year as far as seed replacement ratio (SRR) is concerned.
Blame it on the changes in paddy seed sale being implemented by the State Government.
SRR is a measure of how much of the total area of crop has been sown with certified, quality seeds rather than farm-saved seeds. Agriculture Department has been aiming at improving the SSR of paddy and other crops through scientific crop management under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for higher productivity.
In the ensuing kharif season, the district had set an ambitious target to reach the seed replacement rate of 79 pc. And to meet the target, an order for 68,782 quintals of high quality paddy seeds was placed with Odisha Seed Development Corporation and Odisha Agro Industry Corporation. Accordingly, certified and hybrid seeds of desired varieties were stocked by the Odisha Seed Supply Corporation (OSSC) Limited which were supplied through primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) in the district.
According to official reports, in the kharif season of 2013, 56,351 quintals of paddy seeds were sold to farmers at subsidised rate leading to 65 per cent (pc) seed replacement and it was 67 pc a year later. Last year, 78,707 quintals of paddy seeds were sold to farmers during kharif season and replacement ratio was 72 and to maintain the trend, the current SRR target was set at 79 pc. However, it is being apprehended that the SRR may not be achieved due to various reasons, the first being low seed distribution target.
For the current kharif season, government has fixed a target to supply 68,782 quintals of paddy seeds which is less than the previous year’s quota. This apart, direct benefit scheme has been introduced in the sale of paddy seeds and and farmers are not acquainted with it. Under the online system, farmers will have to purchase paddy seeds from PACS or licensed private dealers and on payment of `25 per kg, the subsidy amount would be transferred to farmers’ bank accounts. There was also delay in arrival of short duration paddy seeds due to which farmers have already purchased seeds from local vendors. Sources said only 44,948 quintals of paddy seeds have been provided to the district of which, 37,612 quintals have been diverted to PACS and private dealers.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Laxman Palata Singh paddy seed sale may increase within the next fortnight. Meanwhile, farmers in Kalampur and Karlamunda blocks of Kalahandi have complained of non-germination of paddy seeds that were supplied by the OSSC. Singh said inquiry into the allegation is on.