State government has declared a procurement price of Rs.18 a kg

Farmers in the State are disappointed at the State Cabinet decision to procure paddy at Rs.18 a kg, an increase of just one rupee compared to last year. They had demanded a procurement price of Rs.30 a kg.

In a statement here on Friday, Deeseeya Karshaka Samajam general secretary Muthalamthode Mani said that considering the high cost of cultivation, the procurement price fixed by the government was far below the cost of production.

He said the cost of seed, fertilizer, pesticide, and labour had gone up considerably resulting in higher cost of production. He said the area of paddy cultivation had shrunk in the State considerably because paddy farming had become a losing vocation.

Thus to save the existing paddy cultivation, farmers should be given good remunerative price, Mr. Mani said. He said the higher price and procurement at the beginning of the harvest season would help farmers extend paddy farming to more areas.

During the last harvest season, farmers had to wait months together to get the price of paddy they had given to the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco). This should not be repeated during the current season, he said. Mr. Mani said that though the Supplyco had started procurement of paddy in the district, they did not get enough paddy marketing officials from the Agriculture Department to procure as harvesting were in full swing. This has affected paddy procurement. Supplyco officials said that 28,710 farmers in the district had registered with the corporation for supplying paddy during this first crop harvesting season. Last year, 22,024 farmers had registered with the corporation.

In the last second crop season, only 10,450 farmers had registered with Supplyco, the officials said.

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