Agri Business

There will be no delay in cotton seed distribution, says Maharashtra Agriculture Minister

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on May 09, 2020 Published on May 09, 2020

In Maharashtra, there are enough supplies of cottonseed and there would no delay in seed disbursal to the farmers. Large-scale retail sales of the seeds are expected to commence after May 15, said State Agriculture Minister Dadaji Bhuse.

Bhuse, in a brief telephonic interaction with BusinessLine, said that there were fears expressed by some agriculture experts that early planting of cotton seeds could lead to pink bollworm infestation and so the State Government is encouraging farmers to plant the seeds closer to the commencement of monsoon season. This has been learning of 2017 pink bollworm attack. However, there is no State Government control over the sale of cottonseeds in the state.

In Maharashtra, the cotton crop is extensively cultivated in Vidarbha and Marathwada region.

The pre-plating activities of making the cotton fields ready for kharif crops starts by early May.

The State Agriculture Department has announced that the farmers will require about 1.7 crore seed packets of cottonseeds, and but planned availability is for 2.72 crore packets.

Controlling pink bollworm menace

Shetkari Sanghatana leader and cotton farmer Milind Damle from Yavatmal district said that planting had started at the same time last year also, which helped in controlling pink bollworm infestation.

Buying State Government-approved seeds is not a problem, but the lockdown has affected the whole chain of illegal HTBT seeds, they are no longer available in the market, he said.

In 1978, well-known farmers’ leader Sharad Joshi founded Shetkari Sanghatana to help farmers get easy market access to sell their agriculture products.

A senior agriculture scientist working with the State government said that the last major pink bollworm attack was in 2017, and since then the state machinery has become very alert to the menace of the bollworm.

This year, the State Agriculture Department, as part of risk mitigation measure, has been asking the farmers to follow a mixed cropping pattern with cotton followed other crops.

Govt to procure maize, jowar

In a separate development, the State Agriculture Department, which had lobbied with the Centre to provide assistance to maize and jowar farmers, and has been given permission to procure the grains.

Accordingly, the Maharashtra government will procure 25,000 metric tonnes of maize and 15,000 metric tonnes of jowar from the farmers.

The Consumer Welfare, Food and Public Distribution Department of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs has given the go-ahead, and procurement will be done through the regional branch of the Food Corporation of India.

The purchased grains would be distributed to the consumers through the public distribution system. This decision is expected to relief to the farmers in the State.

Published on May 09, 2020

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