Kapurthala: Farmers in the region are bearing considerable losses this procurement season as they are getting just half the prices of last year for their PUSA-1509 basmati crop.
During the procurement season last year, farmers had sold their basmati crop at Rs 2,500-Rs 3000 per quintal while the prices of same has come down to Rs 1,200-Rs 1,400 this year, dampening the mood of farmers.
Showing concern towards the farming community, the Punjab government has directed the government agencies to purchase paddy at Rs 1,450 minimum support price (MSP), but even this move has been of little help to farmers.
Farmers claimed that they will not be able to recover the amount they spent on seed, irrigation, labour, pesticides and diesel, and it costs them at least Rs 22,000 per acre.
With the prices of basmati hovering at as low as Rs 1,300-Rs 1,400 per quintal, nearly 20 quintal yield from one acre would fetch a farmer only Rs 26,000-Rs 28,000, leaving a profit margin of mere rs 4,000-Rs 5,000.
“Those farmers who have been cultivating on leased land would not be able to recover even their expenses,” Rupinder Singh, a farmer said.
Kuldeep Singh, another farmer who sold his basmati crop cultivated over 125 acres at `1,370 per quintal, said he had sold his crop at `2,700 per quintal last year.
Meanwhile, the government agencies are yet to start purchase of the basmati crop as they have got verbal instructions in this regard, with written instructions and guidelines yet to be received.
Nitin Chaudhary, district manager, The Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (Punsup), said, “We have not received written guidelines from the authorities so far. Once we receive the guidelines, the purchase of basmati will be start immediately.”
Varinder Khaira, district mandi officer, Kapurthala, appealed to farmers to bring their crop after drying it properly as government agencies are purchasing the crop with the moisture content not more than 17 per cent.
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