Pune: As per a State Cabinet decision taken on Tuesday, farmers who produce certified and foundation seeds for the National Seed Corporation and the Mahabeej (Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation) will be given the difference in the cost of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the market rates given at the Agriculture Product Marketing Committee (APMC) to prevent them from facing losses.
Seed cultivation is carried out by the two corporations to preserve seed varieties and make seeds available to other farmers at a lower rate. The farmers provide foundation seed, which are bred from breeder seeds and then through appointed agencies become certified seeds. The farmers who can sell their produce at the APMC for a higher or lower market rate, have the option to sell their produce as seed for re-cultivation.
“The government wants to ensure the availability of seeds for cultivation for the next season once the current season is in progress. The Zilla Parishads, according to their District Plans, inform the seed corporations about their requirement for seed and the corporations incentivise the cultivation of seeds as per the requirement targets,” said Vijay Kumar, the Additional Chief Secretary of the State. He added, “So this year as cotton crop saw bollworm infestation, soya bean seeds were given a push and its targets were raised.”
“When the market prices grow, the seed growers are given incentive of 25 to 35 pc in addition to the highest price. But as prices have fallen to a great extent this year compared to the declared MSP, farmers are in a dilemma. Hence, the government has decided to provide the difference between the MSP and the market price to the farmers to ensure availability of low cost seed for cultivation next year,” Kumar said, adding, “This also ensures that the seed link that has been conserved over the years is continued and more varieties of seeds are available for cultivation.”
A budget or Rs 35 crore has been sanctioned by the Cabinet through its decision and the amount will be transferred directly to the Aadhaar-linked accounts of the seed cultivators. The benefit will be applicable to the seeds cultivated in both kharif and rabbi seasons of 2017-18 and will be disbursed to cultivators aligned to Mahabeej and NSC, Pune.