Seed of contention
- Sreesanth, Jiju Janardhan lived in independently booked rooms: Cops
- India to convey concerns over Ladakh incursion to Chinese Premier
- IPL 2013 LIVE SCORE: Maxwell falls early in stiff run-chase
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
- Rajapaksa slams Tamil diaspora for lack of support in reconciliation process
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has termed the proposed seed bill as a "black" bill, saying it does not safeguard the farmers' interests and will increase the domination of multi-national seed companies in the country.
In a letter to Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Nitish cited his state's "bitter experience of private hybrids" in maize in December 2009-10 on account of "non-formation of grains". The private companies had disowned their responsibility, he said, and the state had to step in to provide assistance, taking on an extra burden of Rs 61 crore. "The problem of the non-setting of grains was not observed in public sector hybrids," he stated further.
While Nitish has outrightly rejected the bill in its present form, farmers of the agro-based state aren't so vehemently opposed to it. Reason: The hybrid seed varieties assure them of a good yield even as they cost them a pretty penny. In the event of crop failure, however, they all look at the government for compensation.
At the Lagma panchayat of Kosi region's Saharsa — which is one of the biggest maize growing districts along with Khagaria, Madhepura and Supaul — the farmers use hybrid varieties called 900 M Gold, 9081 and Pinnacle.
A farmer at Sirrahi village in the panchayat, Mohammed Usman, who has cultivated maize using 900 M Gold, a hybrid variety seed by US Monsanto company, said: "Though the per bigha cost has gone up from Rs 2,500 to around Rs 8,000 with the new seed and technique, the per bigha yield, too, has gone up — from 1,000 kg to 2,400 kg".
Nonetheless, Usman wondered as to why farmers have to buy fresh packs of costly seeds every year. "Once we grow a new variety, we should be able to use it as seeds next year, but that is not possible with the hybrid varieties," said Usman.
- Destitute, orphan students outclass rest in Andhra Class 10 exams
- To re-energise ties, PM wants to visit US, waits for confirmation
- NIA court says no terror link, frees 'Hizbul militant' Liyaqat on bail
- CBI arrests its coal allotments investigator on bribery charge
- ‘Cricketer-bookie Amit may have used Jiju to reach Sree’
- BCCI chief N Srinivasan says police must prove spot-fixing allegations