Improved variety of wheat seeds remain unsold in Surkhet

Published On: December 18, 2019 09:23 AM NPT By: GANESH BISHU

BIRENDRANAGAR, Dec 18: While many farmers are forced to use substandard wheat seeds due to unavailability of quality seeds, improved seeds developed by Agriculture Knowledge Center, Surkhet, is not finding buyers.

Nearly 16 tons of improved seeds are lying unsold at the center's warehouse. Farmers say they are not interested toward new variety of seeds developed by the center as they are not assured on its productivity. Some farmers, however, say improved seeds developed by the government agency couldn't find buyers as local units buy seeds on their own to distribute to farmers as grant. "Officials work hand in glove with suppliers and source seeds from other places. This is why seeds developed by the center remained unsold," Motiram Sharma, a farmer, told Republica.

Agriculture Knowledge Center, Surkhet, produced wheat seeds in 4.2 hectares of land in FY2018/19. According to Bandhu Raj Baral, Chief of Agriculture Knowledge Center, the center produced 9.9 tons of seeds last year. W-K 1204, Dhaulagiri, Swargadwari, W-K 2286 and W-K 2123 are the wheat seed varieties developed by the center, according to Baral.

Baral also said that the center failed to sell seeds also because of the federal setup that the country has adopted. "As local units were newly-formed, they have not introduced grant and subsidy programs yet. Also, the federal government also did not put the program in priority. This affected our seed development program," he added.

Most of the farmers do not buy seeds of improved breeds on their own. They expect government agencies and donors to provide them with seeds under grants or subsidy programs.

As the seeds produced last year remained unsold, the center has lowered seed production this year. It expects to produce only 12 tons of seeds in the current fiscal year.

The center has been producing improved seeds of paddy, wheat, maize, millet and barley as well as red lentil, black gram, soybean, red kidney beans, mustard and peanut. Similarly, it has been producing seeds of fruits like mango, litchi, guava, pomegranate and banana, and vegetables like, potato, okra and tomato.

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