Ten lakh quintals of blackgram is with ryots, but no procurement centre set up

Black gram farmers under the aegis of Andhra Pradesh Rytu Sangham lay siege to Markfed Office here and came on to the roads demanding that the Government provide Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.

Farmers raised blackgram in four lakh acres, and 10 lakh quintals of stocks are with the growers in Krishna district. But, government is not taking any measures to take up the produce and the middlemen are purchasing the stocks at fewer prices, the farmers alleged.

On Monday, farmers from Vuyyuru, Pamarru, Ghantasala, Gudivada, Machilipatnam and other mandals staged a dharna before the Markfed Office, at Benz Circle.

When the officers did not respond to their agitation, they staged a ‘rasta roko’ on the main road causing traffic jam.

Suppressing voice

The Patamata police rushed to Benz Circle centre and arrested the agitating farmers.

They bundled the ryots into their vehicles and shifted them to the police station. Farmers alleged that the Government was trying to suppress their voice with the police forces.

Andhra Pradesh Rytu Sangham State president Vangala Subba Rao, Krishna District president Y. Keshava Rao, vice-presidents Y. Narasimha Rao and T.V. Laxmana Swamy, general secretary J. Prabhakar and some farmers were among the arrested.

Speaking on the occasion, a farmer Raavi Subba Rao of Daliparru village said the government assured to take the produce at Rs.4,300 per quintal and arranged a procurement centre at Vuyyuru. But, the centre was closed after a few days benefiting the middlemen. “Brokers are buying black gram at Rs.3,500 per bag and are selling the same at higher price. We took the matter to the notice of the local minister, but of no use”, said Subba Rao. “Government is chanting the name of ‘anna datalu’ every day and are claiming that the State and Central Governments are farmer-friendly. But, the situation is different in villages and the statements of the public representatives are limited to newspapers only”.

“We request the government to set up black gram procurement centres at Gannavaram, Gudivada, Machilipatnam and Avanigadda mandals besides opening the stall at Vuyyuru”, said another black gram farmer Talasila Parameswara Rao of Ghantasala mandal.

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