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Rabi paddy: priority to small farmers stressed

Special Correspondent

Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah reviews procurement situation in Warangal district

HYDERABAD: The government has asked officials to give priority to small and marginal farmers while procuring rabi paddy at the purchase centres opened all over the State for procurement.

Issuing an instruction to this effect to Warangal Collector Rahul B. and other officials while reviewing the procurement situation in the district through a video-conference here on Monday, Information Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah regretted that farmers were made to wait for seven to ten days at some purchase centres due to shortage of gunny bags or godown space.

He said the small and marginal farmers in this case would turn out to be the worst victims as some costs were involved in waiting at the purchase centres. The centres, therefore, should clear the paddy brought by them first so that they could go home early. The Civil Supplies officials informed the Minister that 78 lakh gunny bags were expected to arrive in the State in two days and Warangal would get 26 lakh bags out of this huge quantity.

The Minister directed the officials to make available as many “moisture meters” as possible at the purchase centres to ensure a ready assessment of the extent of damage and moisture content in the paddy bought by farmers.

As cotton is a prime crop in Warangal district, Mr. Lakshmaiah asked officials to hold talks with representatives of cotton seed companies constantly and make seeds available in the market in time.

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