The Maharashtra government will file criminal charges against companies selling illegal seeds, as well as take harsh action against agriculture department officials who fail to take action against such companies, State Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse said on Tuesday.
The State Assembly debated the proliferation of illegal seed markets in the state, with elected members claiming that crop production was declining and farmers were suffering.
According to Bhuse, the agriculture department recently discovered that a company had brought 7.5 tonnes of seeds into the market without a government licence. In addition, the company was selling illegal pesticides. Elected members from both parties agreed that some agriculture department officials were working hand in hand with companies producing illegal seeds and that the government needed to act immediately.
According to minister Bhuse, the Maharashtra administration will immediately prohibit companies from selling illegal seeds, file criminal charges, and suspend agriculture department officials involved in the racket. He stated that the government had recently suspended the selling licences of 620 shops and cancelled 136 licences.
Illegal seeds in the market
Nana Patole, the State Congress President and MLA, claimed that the state had many companies selling illegal seeds. He stated that even if the government revoked these companies’ licences, it should ensure that they do not reopen under new names.
According to BJP leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, the Marathwada region and farmers are suffering largely as a result of unproductive, illegal seeds.
MLAs stated that farmers must bear the cost of seeds and suffer losses because the government has no policy to assist farmers who have been duped by seed companies.