Middlemen offer 100 less than MSP to paddy in AP\'s Godavari districts

Farmers ready for sale rather than waiting for RBK sale as middlemen pay within a week whereas the government takes three weeks or more

KAKINADA: As the Khariff crop in Godavari districts is getting ready for harvest, middlemen have entered the scene and are offering a lower rate -- Rs 100 less than the MSP of Rs 1540 per bag of 75kg paddy. Farmers are game with this.

The middlemen pay the money within a week whereas the government takes three weeks or more. Worse, there is no certainty about government procurement and payment in view of the bitter experiences in the past, say the farmers.

The middlemen are also arranging harvesters at the field level. They deduct the harvesting charges from the final payment. This suits the farmers as they need not bear the transport charges.

Further, if farmers take paddy to Rythu Bharosa Kendras or other purchasing centres, they have to face hassles. For instance, moisture content of the paddy is taken into account while fixing the price. The price is less if the moisture content is more.

In many places, the government has not opened paddy purchasing centres at RBKs so far. If farmers wait for more time to sell their crop and if there are rains, the crop can be damaged. On the other hand, if sold to the middlemen, they take away the crop immediately after the harvesting.

At present, some paddy fields are faced with waterlogging. During the harvesting period, paddy can fall into the field and the moisture content would thus be more. “In such situations, we have to dry the paddy and then sell it to the RBKs. Middlemen are purchasing paddy on the spot without taking the moisture content into account,’’ pointed out VS Raju of Rajanagaram.

Some villages in Rajanagaram mandal have completed the harvest and also sold the paddy. The crop is going to be harvested within a week or ten days in the other villages. The middlemen are already in touch with the farmers and got orders to purchase their paddy.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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