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It’s Haryana versus Punjab in wheat-harvesting season

punjab Updated: Apr 14, 2016 10:15 IST
Neeraj Mohan
Neeraj Mohan
Hindustan Times
Haryana versus Punjab

Hundreds of combine harvesters from Punjab have descended on Haryana, causing losses to local operators, but benefitting farmers with lesser harvesting cost. (Manoj Dhaka/HT )

Owners of combine harvesters in Haryana are facing losses this year due to an increasing competition from their counterparts pouring in from the neighbouring state of Punjab. But farmers as rejoicing as, thanks to the tug-of-war of sorts, the cost on harvesting wheat has fallen by Rs 400. Harvesting wheat on an acre in the region now costs Rs 1,000.

It’s a sight to see the combine harvesters, little monster machines that gulp down the chaff and throw up clean grain, lined up on the National Highway-1 that connects Punjab and Haryana, ready to fan out.

“We are not going to earn good profits as the number of combine harvesters from Punjab has doubled (this year), forcing us to reduce prices,” said Sunil Tyagi, who owns a combine harvester, in Karnal’s Bijna village. “I have four combine harvesters but it is tough completion… about 100 combine harvesters from Punjab have come to Karnal alone,” he said.

Tyagi has sent two of his machines to other districts, Yamunanagar and Rohtak. But not everyone is doing that. Some are winding up. “I disposed of one machine as I could not earn any profit due to competition from the Punjabi machines,” said Kaka Singh of Yunispur village in Karnal.

But the harvesters from Punjab refused to be blamed. They said it was their right to “work” anywhere as the harvesting season back home was delayed by a week.

“They (Haryana owners) cannot blame us for fall in prices because they too go to Punjab and Madhya Pradesh for harvesting,” said combine harvester operator Jasbir Singh from Punjab’s Nabha area. Jasbir said the combine harvesters from Punjab will stay in Haryana for a week before returning home as harvesting picks up there.

“When we go back we will also face the same competition as combine harvesters from Haryana will reach Punjab and will force a reduction in prices,” he said.

6.31 MT procured so far: Govt

Chandigarh: About 6.31 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of wheat have arrived in mandis of Haryana so far. A government spokesperson said more than 2.01 lakh MT of wheat had been procured by the food and supplies department, and HAFED had purchased more than 1.69 lakh MT.

He said the Food Corporation of India had purchased 72,844 MT of wheat, the Haryana Agro Industries Corporation 28,238 MT, and 1.60 lakh MT of wheat had been procured by the Haryana Warehousing Corporation. Apart from this, 191 MT of wheat had been procured by traders. He said Palwal district was leading in wheat arrival with 1.05 lakh MT of wheat in mandis. htc