Telangana: Paddy farmers too face cartels

With lower quantum of purchases by government agencies, farmers are forced to sell their paddy to private traders and millers.

Hyderabad: It’s not just a syndicate of traders that is causing losses to farmers; even rice millers have formed cartels forcing farmers to sell paddy at lower prices. Millers are ruling the roost at Suryapet market, considered to be the state’s biggest rice market.

They are paying just Rs 1,200 per quintal against the prescribed MSP of Rs 1,510. The new Suryapet market was set up in 29 acres after the old market spread over 13 acres was not sufficient to receive huge paddy stocks and purchase from farmers on a daily basis.

However, the new market continues to face the same problems as old market, due to negligence of the marketing officials. Farmers allege nexus between officials, traders and millers to procure paddy for a price lower than MSP and sell the produce at higher rates in the open market and share the commission thus earned, at the cost of farmers.

Though the procurement season started on April 1, the fact that the purchases were made only for one week in the entire month, is a pointer at how officials force farmers to look at other options for selling their produce.

Though the Suryapet market has the capacity to buy 1.50 lakh paddy bags per day, officials restrict purchases to 50,000 bags over two days, citing logistic issues.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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