Hyderabad: Bumper yield of red gram sown in the Kharif 2019 season has resulted in a problem of plenty, and procurement of the produce has become a major issue.
Farmers are raising a hue and cry over the conditions stipulated by Markfed (Telangana State Co-Operative Marketing Federation Ltd), which limits procurement of only 2.5 quintals from each farmer.
The agriculture department is expecting 2.7 lakh metric tonnes production in the season, but the Centre has approved procurement of only 47,500 metric tonnes of red gram in the state. Due to this, the state government has to face the burden of procuring the additional production from farmers.
Farmers from the erstwhile districts of Mahbubnagar, Medak and Ranga Reddy used to sow red gram in extensive areas, compared to those from other districts. Farmers have already reached market yards with stocks but Markfed authorities are not prepared to procure the entire produce. As a result, farmers from Gadwal, Koheda, Tandur and other market yards are protesting against the delay in procurement.
T. Sagar, general secretary of Telangana Rythu Sangham, said that Markfed authorities were issuing slips to each farmer for the procurement of 2.5 quintals and asking them to come with their stock from 30 to 45 days. After procurement, there is inordinate delay in payments, he said.
He said that the government had fixed Rs 5,800 as minimum support price (MSP) per quintal and the farmers had reached the market yards with stocks. With so much stock left, commission agents are purchasing the product at Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,000 per quintal and making a killing.
S. Anvesh Reddy, chairman of Telangana Kisan Congress, said that commission agents have been purchasing the stock at lower prices and selling the stocks to Markfed at the MSP in the name of farmers.
Stating that due to good rains each acre of crop is yielding 8 to 12 quintals of red gram, he demanded the government procure stocks from farmers without any conditions.
Meanwhile, agriculture minister S. Niranjan Reddy has written to the Centre exhorting the agriculture ministry to enhance the quota of red gram to another 56,000 metric tonnes over and above the earlier approved 47,500 metric tonnes.He said, “as the farmers are facing trouble, we hope that the Centre will come forward to enhance the quota of procurement to provide much-needed relief to the farmers cultivating red gram.”