Paddy seed scam: PAU imposes stringent rules on field trials, kisan club members left fuming
Move after varsity recently got embroiled in a controversy for selling seeds of high-yielding varieties of paddy to a farmer, who multiplied it and sold it to the kingpin of the seed scamUpdated: Jun 25, 2020, 10:39 IST
After a PAU Kisan Club member was found involved in selling trial seeds to the kingpin of the seed scam, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has imposed stringent regulations on field trials.
The farmer, Baljinder Singh, a kisan club member and a resident of Bhundri village in Jagraon, had allegedly multiplied the seeds through alternative cropping in Hyderabad and sold several quintals to the kingpin of the seed scam, Kaka Brar, and Lakhwinder Singh alias Lucky Dhillon, owner of Karnal Agri Seeds in Dera Baba Nanak, Batala.
Kaka Brar had purchased the seeds from Dhillon and Baljinder for Rs 70 and Rs 80 per kg respectively, and sold it for Rs 230 to 250 per kg.
On Wednesday, representatives of various kisan clubs were told by PAU that they will not been given seeds of any new variety for trials this year. The move has resulted in much resentment among the farmers.
Various farmer clubs expressed anguish over the move and said farmers are paying the price for the political tug- of-war over the alleged seed scam.
Amrinder Singh Poonia, president of the kisan club, who was leading the delegation of farmers, said, “PAU had given varieties of seeds to farmers that are highly productive for short durations to farmers. This will help the farmers in many ways. One, farmers will pump less underground water and secondly, they will be able to harvest it early so there is enough time to manage stubble. Instead of helping the farmers with more field trials, curbs are being imposed due to political pressure.”
PAU vice-chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon said it was decided during a meeting held recently with food and civil supply minister that seeds of new varieties will be produced only by PAU and ICAR in the first year of its release and private dealers will be allowed thereafter.
He said that as field trials fall under the purview of the university, they have decided to take measures to check the misuse of the grain harvested from these trials.
These include reduction in plot size of field trials on rice from one canal to four marlas and aadhaar card details of farmers chosen for field trials will be collected by PAU and the state agriculture department.