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Seed Price Surge Casts Shadow on Karnataka’s Kharif Season, CM Reacts

Farmer Sowing Seeds

Bengaluru: While pre-monsoon rains offer hope for a bountiful harvest after last year’s drought, a significant rise in seed prices has cast a shadow on their enthusiasm. This price hike has become a major concern for the farming community, sparking criticism from the opposition towards the state government.

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The Karnataka government has addressed concerns regarding rising seed prices for the upcoming kharif season. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah issued a press release clarifying the situation, acknowledging a price increase but emphasizing that it’s lower compared to neighboring states.

The state witnessed a severe drought in 2023-24, significantly impacting seed production. This led to a rise in seed procurement prices from producers, ultimately reflected in higher seed prices for farmers.

The press release highlights that seed prices are determined based on factors like procurement costs and maximum sale prices at Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Compared to the previous year, procurement rates for various crops have increased by up to 59.58% in 2023-24.

Farmers in Karnataka produce some of the seeds used for planting. These seeds are further supplemented by Karnataka State Seed Corporation Ltd., National Seed Corporation, Karnataka Oilseeds Growers’ Federation, and private institutions.

While some seeds like groundnut (48.5% increase), pigeon pea (28.29% to 37.69% increase), and maize (7.66% to 33.33% increase) have seen a price hike, there are exceptions, it said

The press release offers a silver lining: soybean seed prices for the 2024 kharif season have actually decreased by 8% compared to last year. Additionally, sunflower seed prices remain unchanged.

The press release clarifies that the state government doesn’t distribute BT cotton seeds at subsidized rates. The central government sets the maximum price for these seeds.

Despite the price hike, the press release by the CM claims its seed prices remain lower compared to neighboring states. The press release cites examples of soybean, pigeon pea, groundnut, and maize prices being significantly lower in Karnataka compared to Maharashtra.

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