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Andhra Pradesh

Soyabean seed distribution needs review

S. Harpal Singh

Tuesday 18 May 2004, by SINGH*S. Harpal

ADILABAD, MAY 18. The distribution of soyabean seed on subsidy basis through the agencies of HACA and APOILFED in Adilabad district needs to be reviewed, due to disparity between the Government and open market rates. The Government rate was Rs. 25. 50 paise per kg. of soyabean while the open market rate was currently pegged at Rs. 23 per kg.

This rate difference of Rs. 2.50 paise per kg. amounted to a total of Rs. 1 crore for 40,000 quintals to be distributed within the next 12 days. The Government gives a subsidy of Rs. 6 per kg. which amounts to Rs. 180 for every bag weighing 30 kg. At the Government rate, each bag costs Rs. 765, which was supplied to the farmer at Rs 585 per bag after deducting the subsidy for that quantity. In case subsidy was given for the open market price of Rs. 690 per bag, each bag would cost Rs. 510 for the farmer.

In order to remove the disparity of Rs. 75 per kg., the process of seed purchase and distribution has to be revamped. At present the soya seed is purchased from companies mostly based in Indore in Madhya Pradesh. The Adilabad Agriculture Market Committee loans the money needed for the purchase of seeds.

Explaining the disparity between open market and Government rate, an official said "The payment of subsidy is made in next March. There is transportation cost and market fluctuation taken into consideration which makes the seed given by the Government on subsidy a little costly."

"At present there is no demand for supply of soya seed. So, the rate in the open market is lesser than the Government rate. When the demand for the seed increases, private dealers would hike the rates much above the Government rates which would in turn offset the difference of rate prevalent now," opined another officer on conditions of anonymity.

Mr. B. Goverdhan Reddy, district general secretary of the Telugu Rythu, says the disparity in rate of soya seed would only be contrary to the interests of farmers. "Instead of purchasing and distributing seed through the HACA and APOILFED, the Government can enlist the services of the farmers clubs and Rythu Mitra Sanghams in the district.

The Rythu clubs and Sanghams could be formed into purchase and distribution units. Funding could come from the market committee coffers like the prevalent practice. This would only strengthen the farmers’ bodies at the village level," he suggested.

"Alternatively, the Government could enhance the subsidy to Rs. 8.50 paise per kg.," he added.

In addition to the 40,000 quintals of Government seed, private agencies also sell a similar quantity. Progressively, the area under soya cultivation was going up in the district. Last year, the area under cultivation was about 75,000 hectares when the Government and private agencies had together supplied about 55,000 quintals of seed. This year, the area under soya cultivation is expected to cross the 1.5 lakh hectare mark. Last year, the bumper crop was a result of an average yield of 10 quintals per acre, which fetched a high price of Rs. 1,600 on an average.

See online : The Hindu

P.S.

in The Hindu, Tuesday, May 18, 2004.

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