Opinion / Opinion Line

Seeds should not be forced on villagers

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-13 08:07

Seeds should not be forced on villagers

Photo taken on Oct 19, 2012 shows a farmer harvesting grain in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Recent reports reveal that thousands of rural families in Anhui province suffered from a heavy decline in rice output or even no yield at all after using "Liangyou 0293" seeds provided by Longping Hightech company last October, with some of the victims blaming the company for false advertisements and concealing information about the defects in their seeds. Longping Hightech said that weather conditions and rice blast disease caused the losses. Comments:

The current regulation on the use of seeds has a giant loophole. According to the regulation, the departments and agencies that grant market entrance approval to a kind of seed and decide where to test and use them are not responsible for possible losses; therefore farmers often have to use seeds against their will but suffer the losses themselves., April 9

Reports claim the farmers did not use the seeds voluntarily, but because of administrative orders, which were made to test the performance of the seeds. If that's true, it is not just about economic losses, but violations of the farmers' legal rights. The local authorities should investigate, and intervene so that villagers get the compensation they deserve.

Beijing Times, April 11

The type of seeds concerned has poor resistance against rice blast disease, but it received State approval. The national standards emphasize high productivity only and ignore the disease resistance capabilities. Such standards encourage researchers to cultivate seeds with high production yields but ignoring disease resistance.

Ding Kejian, a researcher in botany at Anhui Agricultural University, April 11


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