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Bgk Dist farmers hit by sunflower seeds’ high prices - 2 min read

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Bagalakote: For the past three years due to the impact of floods during the monsoon season and the lockdown imposed by the Government to control coronavirus, the farmers have not been able to get the right price for their produce. Except for the sugarcane, the rest of the crop didn’t get the right price in the District. Meanwhile, farmers are worried about the price of seeds this year!

Among the commercial crops in the District, the sugarcane is followed by onion and sunflower. Farmers who do Horticulture farming show interest in sowing onions every year. The next stress is on sunflower sowing. The prices of onion seeds had more than doubled last year while the price of sunflower seeds has skyrocketed this year. This has rendered the farmers frustrated.

Meanwhile, there have been allegations of involvement of vendors and companies in the price rise. However no one is speaking about the actual situation but the truth is different. The price of cooking oil too has gone up in the market. It costed Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 5,000 per quintal earlier. Now, it is being sold at Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 7,500. There is also a huge decline in seed production which too has reduced the seed supply. Thus many reasons are being analysed for the increase in sunflower seeds.

Last year, there were floods in the onion-producing states of the country, including Maharashtra and Karnataka, which destroyed crops on a large scale. This, of course, led to a rise in the price of onions. Seed producing companies have purchased onions at a high price and made seeds. It was alleged that they had increased the price of seeds to cover their expenses. The increase in the price of sunflower in the current year has come as a shock. The increase in the prices of seeds has left the farmers disoriented too

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Speaking to Newskarnataka farmer Iranna Yalligutti said, ”There is a serious problem due to the increase in the price of sunflower seeds. Farmers are showing interest in sowing the highest number of sunflower seeds this year. The Government should pay attention to this. Otherwise, the cost of sowing will increase and the economy will be hit.”

While Agriculture Department Joint Director Dr. Chetana Patil said that, ”It is true that the price of sunflower seeds has gone up. Demand is there as per the requirement. The supply is low. Seed production has slowed down due to rains last year. A meeting was held with seed vendors and dealers. Instructions have been issued not to sell seeds at a price higher than the MRP price. We don’t have the power to control prices. However, seeds should be distributed only to the farmers of our District. Farmers in other districts should not be given seeds thus creating scarcity.

Raksha Deshpande

The author is a postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. Her interests range from literature, history, travel to politics, and is keenly interested to write human interest stories and articles relating to literature, travel.

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