Already battling with high-moisture content in paddy due to unseasonal rain, farmers are now bearing the brunt of tardy lifting of their produce from various grain markets in the district.
As a result of this, their paddy is lying in the open as the procured stock has been kept in sheds at these markets.
Not only this, even as the procurement season entered ninth day on Thursday not even a single payment has been made to the farmers in the district so far. Poor arrangements made by the state government are being cited as the reason behind this, adding to the woes of farmers and commission agents here.
It has been learnt that payments worth `20 crore of the procured paddy are stuck due to late delivery of card-swapping machines to food inspectors.
The machines were given to food inspectors on Wednesday. Despite this, it will take two-three days for disbursing the payments to farmers and agents.
Details gathered from the mandi department reveal that around 60,101 metric tonne (MT) paddy has arrived in 78 grain markets in the district so far.
Of this, 47,026 MT paddy has been procured but 31,709 MT paddy is still lying in the markets and is yet to be lifted by agencies.
A survey of some grain markets in the district reveals that the procured paddy in gunny bags has occupied most of the space.
A senior official of a procuring agency said the lifting problem has been arisen due to packaging 40-kg paddy in a gunny bag.
He said though the state government had asked the agencies to fill 37.5kg paddy in a bag but orders are yet to reach local officials in written in this regard. As a result of this, agencies are still not coming to grain markets as packaging of 40-kg paddy in a gunny bag continues.
Gurjeet Singh, a farmer, said the state government’s claims of clearing their payments within 48 hours have proved to be hollow as we have not received a single penny so far.
He said the problem has become a regular feature during the paddy procurement season every year and the government is harassing them.
Harpartap Singh, another farmer, said his produce has been lying in the open as the procured stock was kept in sheds.
He said the government has made it mandatory for procuring agencies to lift their crop within two hours of the purchase to avoid any glut-like situation at purchasing centres, but to no avail.
Harjit Singh, a commission agent, said, “Farmers are coming to my office for payment but we cannot help them as the government is yet to disburse the mpney to us.”
District food and supply controller Rakesh Singla said, “The payments got delayed due to hiccups in the lifting process. Payments worth Rs 20 crore are pending.”