The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar administration has lent its support to the agitating pea farmers who had lost their crop due to the supply of “mixed seed” and are seeking compensation from the Punjab government.
Farmer outfits are up in arms against the state government, alleging scam in the pea seed supply in the last two months and are holding protests in the district.
In a letter to the additional chief secretary, revenue department, deputy commissioner Amar Pratap Singh Virk said a survey was carried out by revenue officials in the SBS Nagar and Balachaur sub-divisions and a report was prepared by the sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs).
The letter states that as per the field reports, there were no sign of flowering of the crop once the plants were fully grown.
The deputy commissioner informed that after availing of technical expertise of the agriculture department, the revenue department should release appropriate compensation for the farmers who suffered losses due to mixing of seeds.
“We are pursuing the matter with the government and are making efforts to get compensation for the farmers. But it would take some time,” Virk said.
Kirti Kisan Union (KKU) president Surinder Singh Bains said most of the pea farmers had destroyed their crop and sown wheat on their fields. He said the government had lost the trust of the farming community as it is yet to take a decision over compensation despite several inquiries.
Bains said farmer outfits are planning to hold a major protest next year against the government.
The farmers are demanding Rs 40,000 per acre compensation and strict action against officials and the manufacturing company involved in the supply of pea seed to them.
Documents reveal that the National Seeds Corporation had supplied 403 quintals of pea seed to the agriculture department in November and the same was distributed among farmers. After farmers raised hue and cry over the crop failure, a committee was formed by the agriculture department. The committee reported that AP-3 pea seed that was supplied was mixed, resulting in crop failure.
The committee had visited fields where AP-3 was sown. The members visited Bhaan Majara, Kishanpura, Bharo Majara, Nai Majara and Beerowal villages and suggested that farmers should be given compensation.
A high-power committee headed by the director, horticulture department, Gurkanwal Singh, had also submitted its report to the government in this connection.