Mumbai: Maharashtra will bring the supply of food grain seeds under the Essential Commodities (Maharashtra Amendment) Act to prevent farmers from being cheated through spurious products, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on the first day of the Monsoon Assembly Session.
“Maharashtra cabinet on Sunday decided to bring the supply of seeds to farmers under the Essential Commodities Act. If arrested for supplying spurious seeds, it will be a non-bailable and cognisable offense,” Fadnavis told the house on Monday while replying to the adjournment motion moved by Congress legislative party leader Balasaheb Thorat on the issue of rain scarcity, lack of sowing, and supply of bogus seeds.
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"Kharif sowing is heavily affected due to long intervals between the rains. Farmers are facing the challenge of re-sowing. This is an emergency for farmers and hence the assembly needs to discuss this issue immediately," Thorat said.
He further added, "The area in which Kharif crops grow in the state is 1.42 crore hectares of which sowing has been completed only on 68 lakh hectares. In Konkan region, the percentage is only about 16.30 percent, while in Pune region it is around 30 percent. In Vidarbha, North Maharashtra and large parts of Marathwada the first sowing has gone waste due to long intervals and re-sowing will have to be done there."
"Farmers haven't received any of the relief," says Thorat
He also added that the farmers haven't received any of the relief announced for calamities last year and further accused the government that though concrete plans for distributing seeds and fertilizers for free should have been ready with the government, the officials have not even started deliberations over these points. Farmers are also facing problems related to spurious seeds and fertilizers, yet the government is busy only with power politics.
However, Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar rejected the adjournment motion.
Fadnavis said, “Maharashtra has formed a contingency plan because of the delayed monsoon. The state is ready for situations like double sowing, crop failure, and spurious seed supply that would affect production. The plan is in place.” The opposition, however, was not happy with the reply and staged a walkout.
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