Drizzling and slow lifting of grain on Day 12 of paddy procurement increased the farmers' problems, with the rice millers now worried about moisture content of the grain.
In spite of allocation of rice mills to procurement agencies on Friday, the grain market on Saturday resembled a storage yard due to slow lifting. Farmers, procurement agencies and rice millers expressed concern over the moisture content of grain, which is already at 20% to 25%, and may increase as the meteorological department has predicted that the rain would continue over the next two days. As per central government specifications, purchasing agencies will reject paddy if the moisture content is more than 17%.
Procurement agencies urged the state government to give relaxation in terms of moisture content and discolouration of paddy, so that they did not face difficulty while supplying it to the government.
Speaking to HT, Chogawa village farmer Jaskaran Singh said, “I have to take my 150 quintals back as there is no space in the market to keep it. Officials too did not allow me to keep it there as experts said that the moisture content was more than 22%.”
“In spite of knowing that bad weather is spoiling the paddy, the government has not come to our rescue,” he alleged.
Farmer Gurmeet Singh of Bolina village alleged, “Though I have been in the market for the past three days, no official from any procurement agency came to buy my crop.”
Ruing that the rain had spoiled the crop, he accused the state government of being “deaf and dumb”, and alleged that the SAD government, which was claiming to 'farmer friendly' had “failed” as even after 12 days of beginning of the season, none of the leader had spoken for the farmers.
Farmer Shingara Singh of Bhatija village said, “We were ruined by the weather and the Badals, as both failed to show any mercy.”
He too alleged that in spite of being in the grain market for the past four days, he could not sell his crop due to high moisture content and officials not coming to the farmers.
Commission agent Kashmiri Lal said it was one of the worst paddy procurement seasons he had seen in the past 40 years in the state.
District mandi officer Harinder Singh Randhawa said, “Procurement agencies did not come to the market due to drizzling in the past two days.”
Cloudy weather, drizzling may continue over next two days
Source: Adampur Air Force Station
Agency Procured Unlifted
Pungrain 16952 MT 14337 MT
FCI 2360 MT 261 MT
Markfed 17174 MT 15292 MT
Punsup 18498 MT 18224 MT
Ware House 6571 MT 5560 MT
Punjab Agro 5797 MT 4963 MT
Private 1052 MT ----------
Total 68404 MT 58637 MT