Government to take action after ICAR probe on spurious cotton seeds

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Agri-research body ICAR is looking into the matter of sale of spurious cotton seeds and action will be taken based on its report, Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak said. Expressing concern over sale of such seeds, he said the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been asked to prepare a report and study the extent of penetration of spurious cotton seeds in the market. 

“It is a matter of concern. We expect the ICAR to submit the report soon. After assessing the situation, the Government of India will take an appropriate action,” Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak told. The government is seized of the matter as there have been media reports on sale of fake cotton seeds from different parts of the country, he added. 

Sale of unapproved and fake cotton seeds has been reported from cotton growing states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The Maharashtra government special task force had urged the central government to institute a CBI probe into the matter. In June, Hyderabad police had arrested four persons for allegedly selling fake cotton seeds. 

The Punjab government had also asked its agriculture department officials to crackdown on spurious cotton seeds in order to protect farmers. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab are the major cotton growing states in India.

Cotton production is estimated to be lower at 32.27 million bales of (170 kg each) in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June) due to lower yields, from 33.09 million bales last year, as per the government’s first estimate. 

Source: The Economic Times 

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