The Bihar government will create seed hubs across the state and encourage seed production through public-private-partnership (PPP) mode to introduce better varieties of crops and help raise the income of farmers through better productivity.
The decision was announced at the inauguration of the two-day programme on seed hub creation, seed production and rabi crop orientation, chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar’s agriculture advisor and former director general of Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) Mangla Rai and attended by agriculture minister Kumar Sarvjeet, agriculture department secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal and others.
“Seed hubs will be created for seed production in the state. We will start this at 10 seed multiplication areas in PPP mode. We will take the help of farmers in this and create seed production hubs or clusters of 50 hectares each. This will help us increase the production of seeds and their replacement rate,” Agarwal said.
The agriculture department secretary pointed out that the production of seeds at the state seed multiplication areas was abysmal due to various issues and a lack of necessary resources.
“We will take assistance from the two state agriculture universities here, Borlaug Institute of South Asia, and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.
“High-quality seeds will be produced as per the requirements of local farmers. The krishi vigyan kendras (KVK or agriculture science centres) will encourage and emphasise the cultivation of coarse cereals,” Agarwal added.
Speaking on the occasion, agriculture minister Sarvjeet stressed that private agencies will be roped in along with farmers to increase seed production in the state.
“Seeds produced in earmarked seed multiplication areas will be stored at Bazar Samitis and provided to farmers on proper prices.
“The government will encourage crops that farmers like to cultivate in various districts. We will establish a centre for exellence of coarse grains in Gaya district,” Sarvjeet added.
Agriculture advisor Mangla Rai advocated coordination between the agriculture universities in the state to produce advanced quality of seeds.
Meanwhile, A CBI court in Patna sentenced three persons to five years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed fines on them on Wednesday in a case relating to irregularities in a contract to repair faulty EPBT cards.
According to a communiqué released by the CBI, the sentenced persons include the then Patna telecom general manager B.B. Rai, the then telecom divisional engineer Rampati Chikhaiyar, and the proprietor of a private firm Nalanda Telecom Service, Perwez Ahmad.
While the court awarded rigorous imprisonment of five years each to all three convicts, it imposed a fine of Rs 6 lakh each on Rai and Ramapati, and Rs 16 lakh on Ahmad Thakur, who had called Nathu Ram Godse a “patriot”, only to retract later.