Chandigarh, June 16
There seems to be no end to the woes of farmers in Punjab, with the Department of Agriculture now supplying them with 8,000 quintals of substandard ‘dhaincha’ (green manure) seed.
The dhaincha is crucial because it helps to improve the physical properties of the soil and to meet the nitrogen needs of the crop. According to sources, dhaincha samples provided by the department were found to be of poor quality. The seeds were provided after the wheat harvest — the dhaincha is sown before the paddy is planted.
Will retain the grant
The case is as far as I know. We will not pay a subsidy to the supplier. — Gurvinder Singh, Director, Agriculture
The importance of Dhaincha
Due to the indiscriminate use of pesticides, 2.5 lakh hectares have a high concentration of acid content. To increase fertility through green manure, the government provides a huge subsidy for ‘dhaincha’ seeds, which are sown soon after the wheat harvest.
The first sample tests were carried out in April, during which 57 of 65 specimens were found to be substandard. However, the supply agency lodged a protest claiming that the tests had not been carried out correctly and demanded that the seeds be retested. New tests were carried out at a government laboratory in Ludhiana. The results were even worse because this time 58 out of 65 samples failed. Sources revealed that the problem with the seeds was poor germination. The sources said that in the first week of May, the department even instructed its field staff to be careful about the use of seeds, but the latter failed to stop sowing seeds. inferior seeds. The Ministry of Agriculture, which is a nodal agency, had asked Punjab Agrotech to source seeds. The sources said that Punjab Agrotech procured the seeds from the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NEFED).
NEFED also procured seeds from a private farm in Mansa. The government’s goal was to distribute about 12,000 quintals of seed, but it purchased about 8,000 quintals. Director of Agriculture Gurvinder Singh confirmed that the matter was in his knowledge and said they would not pay the subsidy to the supplier.