Many farmers have been waiting for the procurement of their paddy produce at rural grain markets of Aulakh and Panjgrain Kalan villages for the past several days and some farmers have even started shifting their produce to some other markets.
The reason for the delay in the procurement of their produce is stated to be higher moisture content, though the quality of their produce is good. However, farmers say that not many officials of procurement agencies are visiting the markets.
“I have been sitting in the grain market for about 13 days. It is harassment of the farmers. On the one hand, the farmers have to sow wheat and prepare the fields for it, but on the other hand, we have to wait for so many days in the grain market to sell paddy,” said Kulwant Singh, a resident of Aulakh.
“I have brought the produce of 3.5 acres of land, but I have been here for the past 15 days to sell it,” Gurjant Singh, another farmer from the village, said.
“I had waited for 9 days in my village rural yard to sell the produce, but finally I had to transport it to Kotkapura to sell it some days ago,” said Angrej Singh, a farmer from Aulakh.
“I first brought the 11 acres’ produce to Aulakh, and after four days’ wait, I am transporting it to another grain market in Moga district. The official here has told me that he would not buy it at all as it is discoloured,” said Shinder Singh, a farmer from the village.“It cost me Rs 5,000 again to take it to another market,” he said.
Selling the produce in the Aulakh rural yard has been a problem for the farmers since the beginning of the season and, despite their protests, nothing changed there.
Shihan Singh and Malkit Singh Panjgrain Kalan said that they had been waiting for the procurement agencies to procure their produce for 9 and 6 days respectively.”
“I have good quality produce but have been sitting here for 9 days to sell my 10 acres’ produce,” said Shihan Singh at Panjgrain Kalan village yard.
“The whole system is faulty as rice millers, procurement agencies and the government are harassing farmers. They want to procure the produce rs 50 per quintal less than the MSP of Rs 1,450.
Indirectly, it is corruption. When the produce is not procured by the government agencies for many days, the farmers agree to sell it at whatever price is offered to them by the traders. Now, farmers have started transporting their produce from one market to another one where someone assures them of the sale. But, they would not be able to sell at MSP,” said Nirmal Singh, another farmer of Panjgrain Kalan.
“The FCI had some problem of gunny bags and these are arriving soon. The procured produce would be filled in the gunny bags when they arrive. I am also taking up the matter with FCI officials on Monday morning in the meeting to ensure all the produce is procured as soon as possible,” said Malwinder Singh Jaggi, deputy commissioner, Faridkot.