Punjab CM asks officials to check spurious seed sale
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday directed the agriculture department to crack down on sale of spurious pesticides and seeds to cotton farmers in the state.
He directed the officials concerned to ensure that only 33 approved varieties of seeds are sold at monitored prices to prevent loss of crop on this account and also coordinate with neighbouring Haryana to ensure that the same quality seeds are sown in the region.
Chairing a meeting of the agriculture department here, Amarinder said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking price support to compensate the farmers for the loss incurred due to the difference between maize's market price of Rs 1,100 and the government s Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 1,300.
Though the central government declares MSP for maize, it does not directly buy the produce, he said.
The Chief Minister directed the agriculture department to explore the possibility of tying up with a commodities exchange or set up an exchange for trading of commodities like potato and cotton to ensure guaranteed sale and save farmers from distress selling, an official spokesperson said here.
Amarinder expressed concern over declining cotton yields in the state due to whitefly infestation and told the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to explore possibilities for better quality Egyptian and Australian cotton varieties to increase profits.