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Hyderabad: The Agriculture department has started cracking the whip against distributors and traders of spurious seeds in Telangana. Considering the growing demand, it is observed that the supply of spurious seeds was rampant for cotton and chilli crops.

Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy wanted the farmers to remain cautious and not fall prey to spurious seed suppliers. He also directed the officials to deal with such fraudsters with an iron hand. Due to shortage of certain variety of seeds especially cotton and chilli, they were instructed to procure adequate stocks and make them available to farmers at the earliest. The officials have already started conducting raids and checking to eradicate sale of spurious seeds.

During a video conference with the Superintendents of Police, the Agriculture Officers and other district officials on Vaanakalam (Kharif) crop preparedness here on Saturday, the Minister wanted the officials to keep a watch on sale of glyphosate herbicide which was being widely used to reduce weed growth. Action will be initiated against the traders who are selling spurious seeds, seeds without license and HT cotton seeds. The special task force teams were advised against creating unnecessary panic among traders as well as farmers and register cases against culprits only if there was adequate evidence.

“The State government is examining the feasibility of setting up the fast track courts to punish those involved in manufacturing, distribution and sale of spurious seeds. Only speedy trial and punishment can create a fear among the culprits,” he added. Further, traders who fail to display availability of seeds and pesticide stocks, should be notified first, to rectify themselves. The officials were directed to take action against traders who are selling without renewing their licenses only after considering the concession period.

Home Minister Mohd Mahmood Ali also directed the police officials to extend complete support to the Agriculture department to deal with the spurious seeds. Agriculture Secretary Raghunandan Rao, Police Commissioners Mahesh Bhagawat, Stephen Ravindra, and other officials from police and agriculture departments, also participated.


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Author: Howard Caldwell