Agri Business

Maharashtra’s farmers suffer another blow as soyabean crop fails

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on July 10, 2020 Published on July 10, 2020

Poor seed quality to blame, say farmers whose tomato crop was earlier affected by a virus attack

Tomato farmers in Maharashtra who had shifted to soyabean after losing their tomato crop in May due to a virus attack, now face a second blow as their soyabean planting has been unproductive due to faulty seed material.

Farmer Suresh Navale from Unchkhadak village in Akole taluka, Ahmednagar district told BusinessLine farmers in the district shifted to soyabean after the massive virus attack in May. However, that crop has also suffered due to bad quality seeds.

Compared to other districts, Ahmednagar is agriculturally more advanced, with large areas under crops such as tomato, sugarcane, cotton and soybean in Kharif and sorghum, wheat, Bengal gram and onion in the Rabi season.

Navale, who planted soyabean on over one acre in early June, has all but lost hope of making any money, with less 15 per cent of the planted seeds germinating and showing signs of green shoots.

Farmers from across the state have complained about the poor quality of soyabean seeds. Over 40,000 complaints have been filed by farmers whose seeds have not germinated. Several FIRs have also been filed against the seed companies.

Farmer activist and leader, Kishor Tiwari, said the time for providing seed material to soyabean farmers by the State Government is over. Now, all they can do is provide adequate compensation to the farmers. The Seed Act is structured in such a manner that it does not provide adequate teeth to the State Government to prosecute companies.

Tomato farmer, Vishnu Harak from Shivade village in Sinnar Taluka of Nashik district, said farmers who bought seeds from the market had suffered losses as the seed was not fit for planting due to fungal ingress, but those who had used seeds saved from last year’s crop were not facing any germination issues.

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Published on July 10, 2020
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