Some farmers and procurement officials will be spending Diwali at the grain markets in the district, adjacent to heaps of paddy, awaiting the final purchase and lifting of crop.
A part of the reason is logistical, with farmers having to stay besides their produce and the second reason is the relatively slow speed of procurement and the mounds of paddy yet to be lifted.
Of the around, 11.40 metric tonnes of paddy that has arrived at procurement centres across the district, 10.58 metric tonnes had been procured by agencies.
Of the total purchase, more than 8 metric tonnes has been lifted, with 2.58 metrci tonnes, stacked in gunny bags, yet to be lifted.
Some workers also feel that the recent Central government move to relax norms for paddy has been a Diwali gift for farmers, rice shellers and procurement agencies.
The government has relaxed grain discolouration percentage from 4% to 7%, and the damage percentage to be accepted has also been raised from 4% to 5%.
“We are used to celebrating our Diwali in grain markets,” said Karamjit Singh, a farmer, at the Patiala grain market.
Another farmer Baltej Singh from Baran village claimed that he was in the market with his basmati crop and was hopeful that the produced would be produced by Sunday morning. District mandi officer Gurbhajan Singh Aulakh said that around 90% of the total crop has been procured so far.
“The lifting process, which had been slowed due to the strike by rice millers, has gained momentum,” he said.