By admin       2018-05-28

Industry insiders say most of the players involved in illegal or unauthorised cotton seeds manufacturing are the ginners spread across the regions of Central and North Gujarat. The seeds are transported through trucks to Andhra Pradesh. There, about 1,500 seed suppliers package and brand it in loose packets of 450 gram. These packaged seeds are supplied to rural markets in Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Sources reveal that it is a racket involving top traders, ginners, village heads, local politicians and government officers. ”The seeds are not available directly but through an underground network. The seed distributors don’t sell the seed packets directly but through strong references. Sale to unknown persons is not possible,” says Sopan Yelge, a farmer from Wadner Bhujang village in Amravati district. Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak says: “Most likely it (the sale of illegal seeds) will come down from this season because of the stringent actions initiated. Those who were peddling illegal seeds thought they could get way with it; now they are realising that is not the case,” Pattanayak adds. Interestingly, the National Seed Association of India expects a decrease in the illegal cotton area. “The State governments have asserted that they will crack down on the illegal cotton. We expect to gain as farmers go back to legal seeds,” M Prabhakara Rao, the President of NSAI, told BusinessLine. A seed company executive, however, is sceptical. “They are saying they will keep tabs. But you will never know how the season pans out. They (illegal operators) could well supply the seed,” he says on condition of anonymity.

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