Sub-standard cotton seeds worth Rs 31 lakh seized in Nanded

By Times Of India on 16 Apr 2018 | read
AURANGABAD: The Nanded police along with the agriculture department authorities have busted a racket involving the sale and supply of substandard cotton seeds in the drought-prone Marathwada region.
During the joint operation, the authorities seized 4,200 bags of substandard cotton seeds worth Rs 31 lakh from the house of a trader, Kishor Kadam, however, he managed to give police a slip.

The suspect trader and a farmer identified as Shaikh Kareem are on the run, we are looking out for them, police said.

The development has substantiated the farmers’ allegations of sale and supply of sub-standard and even duplicate seeds in to the market.

Superintendent of police Chandra Kishore Mina told TOI, “The problem of substandard seeds is very grave. The farmers commit suicide due to frequent crop failures and debts, and such seeds could be one of the major reasons for the crop failures in the region.”

The officer said that in this case a parallel probes will be carried out by police and agriculture departments.

According to sources, police have already started to find out the source of these cotton seeds, especially the manufacturer.

Based on the complaint lodged by an agriculture officer, police have registered a case under various sections of the Indian Seeds Act, 1966 against the two suspects. An officer privy to the investigation informed that as soon as the joint squad reached the suspect trader’s shop in Sarkhani village, he fled from the shop, following which a team reached his house and carried out the search operation.

A parallel search was also made on the premises of farmer hailing from Wadoli village of Kinwat, but he too managed to flee. As per the findings, owing to the huge margins, the farmer too had started selling these seeds to the fellow farmers in and around his village.

Assistant inspector Shivprakash Muley informed that the quality control authorities of the agriculture department, for the past few days, were discreetly carrying out a probe in to the quality of these seeds.

The preliminary probe has found that the seeds being sold are neither a registered brand nor have passed any of the mandatory procedures or quality checks before entering the market.

Muley said, “The seized stock had a label of MRP Rs 760 per bag of 450 grams.”

What has worried the police as well as the agriculture authorities is the fact that huge amount of substandard cotton seeds is reaching interior and remote markets. The gullible farmers purchase them and end up being cheated.