Paddy procurement delays worry farmers amid adverse weather conditions

Hyderabad: Farmers are a worried lot over the delay in procurement of paddy, given the adverse weather conditions currently prevailing in the state that has either left crops damaged or increased moisture content in the crop, which makes it less valuable.

Although Indira Kanthi Patham (IKP) and primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) set up around 6,087 paddy purchasing centres across the state, the process is yet to pick up the pace.

It is estimated that untimely rains and hailstorms have damaged paddy crops in 26 districts at the time of harvest.

Rice millers said that procuring paddy with a moisture content higher than 17 per cent, which is the permissible limit, will cost them heavily. Consequently, procurement is also being done only after detecting around 8-12 kgs, depending on the total, as wastage.

The state government, which promised to procure around 80.46 lakh metric tonnes of paddy from the ensuing harvest season, is yet to speed up the process, forcing farmers to sell their crops for lower prices.

The government declared ₹2,040 as minimum support price (MSP) per quintal of paddy, but farmers are selling them for ₹1,600-₹1,800 per quintal to the middlemen.

Mahesh, a farmer from Kistapur in Birkur mandal of Kamareddy district, said that private traders are approaching them to purchase paddy. With no clarity from government agencies on purchase and payment, private traders are ruling the roost as they pay in cash either at the time of purchase or within three days.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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