Tough action if bad seeds certified | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 25, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 25, 2011

Tough action if bad seeds certified

Matia warns officials

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday warned of tough actions against the officials concerned if any negligence is found in testing and certifying the imported hybrid rice seeds.
"If anyone found involved in certifying imported hybrid seeds that perform bad would be brought to book," she said while addressing a workshop on achievements of boro this season, problems, potentials and future actions.
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) organised the programme at its auditorium in the city.
Matia Chowdhury said farmers have been reportedly affected by cultivating some hybrid rice varieties this boro season. The agriculture ministry is probing the allegations, she said.
Average yield of hybrid rice varieties this boro season is 7.30 tonnes a hectare, while it potential is 9 tonnes. Productivity of milled rice is only 4.87 tonnes a hectare, said Anwar Faruque, director general of the agriculture ministry's seed wing.
This boro season farmers cultivated hybrid rice on 6.56 lakh hectares of land, which was 7.20 lakh hectares in 2009-10 and 9 lakh hectares in 2008-09.
Faruque said hybrid needs high care, its seed price is high, but its demand and price is less and so farmers are losing interest in it. The seed certification agency failed to ascertain the quality of hybrid rice seeds, he noted.
Matia Chowdhury said as per the rules, any imported hybrid rice seeds have to go through two years of trial in the country. After that, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) will test them before the seed certification agency releases the varieties, but this system is not being followed.
Those of you reluctant to the issue may join private jobs, she said.
Agriculture Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed chaired the workshop. BARC Executive Chairman Dr Wais Kabir, BRRI Director General Dr Abdul Mannan, BADC Chairman Dr Nazmul Islam, Department of Agriculture Extension Director General Habibur Rahman among others spoke at the event.

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