Paddy procurement starts in Haryana, farmers seek relaxation
Farmers also claimed that the buyers were not procuring the crop on the pretext of high moisture content. Some of them have also sought relaxation in procurement norms.Updated: Oct 02, 2018 09:41 IST
Paddy procurement began in Haryana on Monday, amid complaints from farmers that government agencies delayed the process and they were forced to sell their produce at rates below the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Farmers also claimed that the buyers were not procuring the crop on the pretext of high moisture content. Some of them have also sought relaxation in procurement norms.
Officials and commission agents confirmed that government agencies started procurement around 4pm, as they were busy with making arrangements.
“According to the government’s announcement, the procurement should have started at 9am on Monday. We had brought our produce to the mandi early in the morning. Even by the evening, there were no buyers and we ended up spending the entire day here,” claimed a farmer, Rajbir Singh, at the Karnal grain market.
He claimed that with government agencies missing, farmers had to sell their produce below the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 1,750 per quintal.
“We were told that our crop had high moisture content, which was more of an excuse to get us to lower rates. Farmers were left with no option, but to sell their produce at rates that the buyer dictated,” said Sarabjit Singh, another farmer.
Farmers have demanded that the government must relax procurement norms as they were already likely to face a loss between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 per acre due to the heavy rain that lashed the state in September.
“Rain flattened our crop and it hit the yield and the government should help farmers. However, even after this, the authorities are saying that only paddy with moisture content less than 17% will be procured on MSP,” said another farmer Madan Lal of Danokheri village in Karnal.
“Procurement started after 4pm. Farmers had started bringing the crop to the mandis two-three days ago. It will take three-four days to procure the entire produce,” said a commission agent of Ladwa Grain market of Kurukshetra district.
Karnal district food and supplies officer Kushal Pal Boora told HT that the procurement had started as per the government guidelines but there were reports that moisture content was high.
“We are procuring paddy which satisfies the requisite norms,” Boora added.
Later in the day, there were reports on social media that a farmer, Manjeet Singh from Ramba village of Karnal, reportedly poured kerosene on himself in a bid to immolate at the Taraori grain market.
He was upset at the produce not being procured on MRP. However, Gaurav Arya, secretary, market committee, Taraori, refuted any such attempt.
First Published: Oct 02, 2018 09:41 IST