Though the procurement of wheat in the grain market here picked up slowly after two days of the alleged faceoff between commission agents and procurement agencies that had blamed each other for harassment and approached the police with their complaints, yet there seems to be little lifting of procured wheat from the market.
The slow lifting has led to the problem of space in the grain market and many farmers had to unload their produce in the 'kuccha' site on the tarpaulins as most of the place has been occupied by wheat bags piled up in stacks.
"There is little lifting of wheat bags in the grain market and many commission agents have piled up the wheat bags in the stacks by paying some extra amount to make space to unload the produce which is arriving in the market," claimed a commission agent wishing not to be named.
"The procurement is also a problem though some of the produce might have higher moisture content. I have been sitting here for the last five days waiting for the produce to be procured," said Balvir Singh, a farmer from Golewala village.
"Now selling wheat has turned out to be more harassing than paddy. We were first harassed by the rains and then by the procurement agencies of the government. I have been sitting here with my produce for the last four days and have thinned my wheat many times but they say it yet has more moisture content than permissible," said Ganda Singh, a farmer.
"Though as per the government rules, the lifting has to be done within 72 hours and payment has to be made in 48 hours, yet there is little lifting and no payment made so far for the wheat sold earlier. The procurement had started on April 14,"claimed Mohinder, a commission agent from the market.
Hectic wheat harvesting operations had started on Wednesday in the district due to the sunny day and the season has now been delayed by almost over ten days, the farmers said.
"The delayed season is likely to have its impact on the elections. The people engaged in their seasonal works may not be able to cast their votes," said Ganda Singh, a farmer.
"There was a problem in procurement of wheat in the grain market for two days due to some problem between commission agents and procurement agencies. But all agencies are now making purchase of wheat. Due to bad weather, moisture content was a problem and procurement agencies are procuring wheat up to 21 per cent permissible limit. There is no problem of lifting as well in Faridkot," said Jaspreet Singh Kahlon, district food and supplies controller.
"The 15,600 metric ton wheat has been procured by all the agencies till Wednesday from Farikdot grain market alone and the payment is also being made by the agencies," said Kulbir Singh Matta, district mandi officer.