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Paddy procurement process yet to take off

Karnataka Bureau

In Bellary, decision on opening centres will be taken tomorrow; there is no procurement at Davangere


Adequate facilities are not provided at

many centres, say farmers

Farmers get a better price in the open market




Non-starter: The paddy procurement centre

Davangere/Bellary/Raichur: Though the State Government announced that paddy procurement in four districts would start on June 11, the process, in fact, is yet to begin, and neither has its promise of fixing a support price of Rs. 1,030 a quintal for Grade I and Rs. 1,000 a quintal for Grade II paddy.

In Davangere district, where there was a good harvest this year, not a quintal of paddy had been procured so far though procurement centres were set up a week ago in Davangere city, Harihar, Malebennur, Honnali and Chennagiri.

The absence of adequate facilities at the centres is a reason for this scenario. According to local officials, there are no meters to assess the moisture in the crop (that should be below 17 per cent), nor labourers to weigh the crop.

Farmers are also troubled by procedural wrangles — they have to bring two passport-sized photographs, bank passbook and crop certification letter from the secretary of the gram panchayat.

Bags

Besides, the authorities ask farmers to bring the crop in 50-kg bags while the latter insist that they should be permitted to bring the crop in 100-kg bags for easy handling and loading facilities.

Farmers now have to buy a 50-kg bag paying Rs.10 per bag.

Further, farmers may opt for the open market as they can now sell their crop there for Rs.1,010 a quintal. B.M. Sathish, Janata Dal (Secular) leader said the authorities had failed to provide facilities at procurement centres.

He said the centres did not have basic amenities like electronic weighing machines, machines to detect the moisture, and even labourers.

Bellary

In Bellary, a major paddy-growing district, the centres are yet to be opened. A task force headed by the Deputy Commissioner is likely to meet on Monday and decide on setting up the centres at three places and start the process of procuring paddy at the minimum support price.

However, enquiries reveal that about 75 per cent of paddy, cultivated by small, marginal and medium farmers, has already been disposed of.

“It is over two months since the harvest was completed. Some of the small and marginal farmers, who are in need of money to repay their loans, would have already sold their crop to rice mills and traders.

Opening of procurement centres may help big farmers, who have facilities to stock their product and wait for a good market price,” Veerbhadra Gowda, a paddy grower, said.

Meanwhile, official sources said the State Government, which announced an incentive of Rs. 100 a quintal, was yet to issue an order in this regard.

Raichur

Paddy procurement centres, which were opened in Raichur on Tuesday, are empty as no one has come to sell the commodity.

Health Minister and district in-charge, B. Sriramulu, inaugurated the centres at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee in Raichur, Sindhanur and Manvi on Tuesday.

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