Haryana farmers on edge as bajra procurement hits snag

Procurement of bajra had started on October 1 at 2,150 per quintal but was inexplicably stopped six days ago
Updated on Nov 22, 2020 12:55 AM IST
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Hindustan Times/Rohtak | BySunil Rahar, Rohtak

sunil.kumar3@htlive.com

Farmer unions and Opposition leaders have accused the Haryana government of ‘running away from the procurement process’, after government agencies stopped purchasing bajra (pearl millet) from mandis.

Procurement of bajra had started on October 1 at 2,150 per quintal but was inexplicably stopped six days ago. A farmer, Sunil Kumar of Bhiwani’s Garwa village, said he had received a message asking him to bring his bajra crop to Behal mandi on November 17. However, once he got there, officials refused to purchase his produce citing lack of verification: “The officials told me procurement will be done after verifying my status as a farmer. I have visited the mandi many times since but officials are yet to procure my crop,” he said.

Haryana Kisan Sabha secretary Dayanand Punia, a resident of Bhiwani, says thousands of farmers in the district and still more across the state are waiting for government agencies to procure their bajra, moong and groundnut. However, no crops have been purchased since Diwali.“Farmers have to start sowing wheat but their produce is still lying in mandis. Do we wait for procurement to start or prepare our fields for sowing? Farmers should be given more time to sell their produce. The government should ensure that the purchase is not merely made on paper,” Punia said.

Farmers await payment: Chautala

Ellenabad Indian National Lok Dal MLA Abhay Singh Chautala said, “The government’s real face has been exposed as it has failed to procure bajra, paddy, moong and groundnut from farmers. Thousands of farmers are still waiting for their turn to sell their crops. Bajra farmers have been waiting for payment for the last two weeks. The government has been creating hurdles for farmers. First, they barred entry of farmers from neighbouring states. Now, they are stopping farmers from Punjab from purchasing urea from Haryana.”

Bhiwani deputy commissioner Jaibir Singh Arya said he had formed teams to verify farmers whose bajra was yet to be procured: “Officials concerned will submit the list by November 21, after which we will start bajra procurement. Bajra will be procured till November 27,” the DC said.

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