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Haryana crop purchase: INLD leader Abhay Chautala says arhtiyas are like ATMs and banks for farmers

The Ellenabad MLA wants wheat and mustard procurement to be carried out as per the old formula wherein farmers sell their produce to commission agents
By HT Correspondent, Hisar
UPDATED ON APR 22, 2020 01:08 AM IST

Arhtiyas (commission agents) are like ATMs and banks for the state’s farmers who are struggling to sell their crops (mustard and wheat) to the purchasing agencies, said Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala.

The Ellenabad MLA was speaking on the sidelines of his visits to the grain markets of Sirsa, Fatehabad and Hisar districts on Tuesday.

Chautala said, “I will talk with the CM to start the procurement of wheat and mustard using the old formula, in which the farmer’s produce is purchased by the commission agent who further sells it to different agencies.”

He questioned why the farmers were being asked to register themselves on the Meri Fasal portal and fill the details of their crop all over again when their area patwaris and revenue department officials already had these records. “If a farmer is okay with selling his crop to arhtiyas, what is the need for direct purchase by agencies set up by the Centre? As far as the standard protocol is concerned, the government should send SMSs to the farmers on maintaining social distance,” Abhay said.

The INLD leader added that by setting so many rules and complicating the procurement chain and process, the government was distancing the farmers from arhtiyas. “There is a lockdown in the country and shut grain markets are not good for the farmers,” he said.

Haryana deputy speaker Ranbir Singh Gangwa, meanwhile, visited Mangali village to take stock of situation at two different purchasing centres. He directed the officials concerned at the grain market that only those farmers who are receiving messages must come to the grain market to sell their produce and facilities like clean water, hand sanitisers and masks should be provided to them.

Congress leader Bajrang Dass Garg met farmers at the grain market here and directed officials to cover the grain properly during showers. He said, “By setting up multiple purchasing agencies, the state government is trying to push the farmers away from the commission agents. The farmers are ready to sell their crop to arhtiyas. Even commission agents always also help farmers whenever they are in need,” Bajrang Dass Garg added.

‘Obey the roster plan’

Hisar deputy commissioner (DC) Priyanka Soni directed the officials involved in purchasing of wheat and mustard to obey the roster plan and only allow those farmers in the purchasing centres who have received the SMS.

In Sirsa, purchasing of wheat started at more than 35 out of 66 centres. Sirsa DC Ramesh Chander Bidhan visited some purchasing centres and checked the condition.

LIGHT SHOWERS, STRONG WINDS LIKELY AHEAD

With 0.8mm rainfall last night, the weather conditions have changed completely in many places in the state. The agriculture and meteorology department of Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University has predicted cloudy weather till April 25. Department head M L Khichar said, “The weather in the state will be variable till April 25, with partly cloudy and moderate winds, but there is a possibility of light to moderate rain with strong winds from till April 24.”

Khichar advised the farmers to keep an eye on the changing weather conditions during the reaping of their crop. “The farmers must bundle up their produce so that it is laid to waste by the expected high-speed winds. They must also cover the crop while bringing it to grain markets for sale,” he said.

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