Parallel Kisan Mela opens uninterrupted | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Parallel Kisan Mela opens uninterrupted

The Punjab agriculture department chose not to interrupt the parallel Kisan Mela that seed companies had organised on the ground opposite its official venue on Thursday. A day before, HT had alarmed the department about the parallel sale of seeds planned opposite the official venue, the Punjab Agricultural University regional campus here. The Punjab agriculture department was supposed to act and stop the sale of illegal seeds at the marriage palace, but it didn't.

punjab Updated: Sep 27, 2012 20:50 IST
Kamaldeep Singh Brar

The Punjab agriculture department chose not to interrupt the parallel Kisan Mela that seed companies had organised on the ground opposite its official venue on Thursday.


A day before, HT had alarmed the department about the parallel sale of seeds planned opposite the official venue, the Punjab Agricultural University regional campus here. The Punjab agriculture department was supposed to act and stop the sale of illegal seeds at the marriage palace, but it didn't.

The agriculture department had agreed that any paralled mela was illegal and a team was out to stop the practice. However, in keeping with its tradition of going soft on private companies, the department preferred to tolerate their unfair trade practices.

Nearly all the companies at the parallel event used the same trick to lure farmers-lucky draw. Farmers were told to submit their names and contact numbers for participating in the raffle, and the company would get back to them if they won any prize. The companies gave away small gifts such as hand fan, pen, notebook, and spare-wheel cover to attract farmers to the stalls.

"We will use the contact details to reach out to farmers and sell our product to them directly," said a sales representative at on the stalls. The other formula to entice farmers was low-price seed. Asked if there the agriculture department had bothered them in anyway, a company representative said laughed at the suggestion. "We give away gifts to farmers," he said, "and we give gifts to agriculture department officials from time to time. Why should they trouble us?"

"We have not allowed the sale of any seed from the any unofficial stall outside the official venue," said Rajinder Singh, chief agriculture officer of Bathinda. "Our team of three officers acted quite well and didn't let any seed be sold from the marriage palace."

Baldev Singh Dhillon, vice-chancellor of the PAU, was also asked about the stalls of private companies outside the Kisan Mela venue. "Our country lacks discipline," he said. "It's the job of the Punjab agriculture department to curb this malpractice. We (the PAU) cannot do much about it."