The chief minister's often repeated claims that Madhya Pradesh was subjected to step-motherly treatment by the then UPA government echoed in a programme in Bhopal on Thursday.
"I still remember when I went to meet UPA’s agriculture minister Sharad Pawar to demand wheat for PDS (Public Distribution System) in MP and the way he snubbed me and said that your state does not grow enough wheat and moreover you all do not even procure wheat and come to us demanding," said CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He was speaking at the inaugural function of the Seventh Seed Congress,which also marked the beginning of 'Krishi Mahotsav' across the state.
"It was then that I decided that my state should produce more and procure wheat to meet our needs. The result of which is that today our godowns are full," continued Chouhan. Expressing concern over climate change, Chouhan said that seed replacement rate needs to be increased but traditional seeds should be preserved.
Giving tips to farmers, Chouhan said commercial crops should be encouraged to make farming a profitable business. The three-day event organised by National Seed Research and Training Centre, Varanasi, and Agriculture Department of MP, began at Hotel Noor-us-Sabah.
Seed Corporation officials, agri-scientists and farmers were present at the programme besides chief secretary Anthony de Sa, agriculture minister Gauri Shankar Bisen, principal secretary agriculture Rajesh Rajaura.
'Goverment killing traditional seed producers'
Farmers who came to attend the programme were critical of government paradoxical policies related to seeds.
Prakash Singh Raghuvanshi, a farmer and seed producer from Varanasi, awarded with the President's award said that he has developed a 'desi' and traditional wheat seed that is more productive and able to survive adverse climate.
He claimed that he has been distributing seeds to farmers since 10 years. "Governments are promoting private companies while traditional seed producers are suffering," said Raghuvanshi. He also alleged that he has met officials but no one has helped yet.
Another example of traditional seed producers’ neglect was Babulal Dahiya, who hails from village Pithorabad from Satna district. He said that traditional paddy has almost disappeared from the area. But he has been successfully growing traditional species of that area in and around his farms.