Bhubaneswar, Nov 13:
Smelling a rot in the distribution of groundnut seeds to the farmers, the Kishan Morcha of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today demanded that the state government should publish a white paper containing the list of farmers, who have received groundnut seeds during the last kharif season. It also demanded a CBI inquiry to unearth the alleged irregularities.
“There is rampant corruption and irregularities in the seeds supply programme. But the state government is adamant and is not taking any steps. Farmers are suffering a lot due to corruption and callousness at the hands of the ruling BJD government. There is an urgent need for a CBI inquiry into the alleged irregularities,” said BJP Kishan Morcha president Maheswar Sahoo in a press release.
Informing that groundnut is cultivated on 2.51 lakh hectares for which the state needs around 1 lakh quintals of groundnut seeds, Sahoo said the government had taken a decision to supply 1, 34,000 quintal this year and further increased it to 2, 10,000 quintal after the cyclonic storm Phailin, an act done with corrupt motives.
“Though the state has adequate farm infrastructure for seed production along with 50 per cent subsidy from the Centre for setting up seed villages, no step has been taken for encouraging seed producers in the state. But the concerned departments are importing seeds from unregistered agencies in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and New Delhi discouraging and ignoring producers in the state,” alleged the BJP leader.
Alleging that the government is hand in gloves with unauthorized agencies for its personal gains, he said despite the fact that the state has a good number of registered seeds supply agencies, the corporations are not floating tenders for state agencies and are importing seeds from out-of-state agencies.
The state government has given the charge of seeds supply to the State Seeds Corporation (OSSC) and the State Agro Industries Corporation.