Hyderabad: In a major relief to distressed maize farmers, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Friday announced that maize stocks will be purchased by the government at minimum support price (MSP) of `1,800 per quintal.
Maize would be purchased by the TS Marketing Federation (TS Markfed) through purchase centres established in the villages for paddy procurement.
The Chief Minister was reviewing the estimated crop yields during the Kharif season with senior officers. Rao pointed out that the government was not responsible for purchasing maize as farmers went against its advice, but keeping in view their plight, the government was ready to bear the losses.
While urging farmers not to cultivate maize in the upcoming Rabi season under any circumstances, Rao expressed disappointment that some farmers had cultivated maize in the monsoon season despite repeated advice from the government that they will suffer losses as maize was not in a position to get MSP in the market.
Stating that Markfed purchased nine lakh tonnes of maize for `1,668 crore in the last Rabi season, Rao said, “Maize has no demand in the open market across the country and the entire yield was sold for `823 crore through open auction, thereby causing a loss of `845 crore loss for TS Markfed.”
Rao reiterated that the government was not in a position to purchase maize cultivated in the Rabi season.
Stating that the BJP-led Union government was to be blamed for drop in maize prices after it has decided to reduce the import duty from 50 per cent to just 15 per cent, he urged farmers not to fall for cheap politics of the BJP leadership which was now criticising the state government only to derive political mileage.