Not a single rupee has been paid to farmers for the wheat procured at the Nabha grain market. While the government had claimed that farmers will be paid within 48 hours of procurement of their produce, officials said payments are yet to be released from Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, late procurement, slow lifting and shortage of space are adding to farmers’ woes, who otherwise should have been excited about the bumper crop.
The procurement began late in Nabha (on April 7) and 3 lakh quintal of the crop has been purchased so far. The agriculture minister, during his visit to the town, had cautioned about delayed payments while advising the farmers to be patient, but failed to give any timeframe.
Clouds in the sky are further adding to the farmers’ worries. The tenders for lifting of the produce were delayed and the process started only a few days back, resulting in the grain markets being flooded with the crop.
“Due to the shortage of space and slow lifting, we have to pay for extra labour for storing the stock. The volatile weather is only adding to our worries and there is no arrangement to protect the crop from rain,” said Ashish Garg, a commission agent.
“We had warned the administration that the crop will reach the market early this year and requested them to make all arrangements,” said Ghumman Singh, a representative of a farmers’ union.