Special Correspondent

Fair price for farmers of eucalyptus, casuarina

ONGOLE: The State government has asked Collectors of Krishna, Guntur, West Godavari and Khammam districts to emulate Prakasam district in organising the market for eucalyptus, subabul and casuarinas under the supervision of market committees to ensure fair price and prompt payment to farmers.

Prakasam district has been implementing the scheme for the last 7-8 years wherein paper mills are required to buy their requirement of eucalyptus, subabul and casuarinas only at regulated market yards paying the notified price to farmers.

Market committee pays the farmers and deducts the amount from concerned paper mills from the deposits they had made with it.

The system helped farmers get fair price for their produce and payment on time. They are also saved of problems like under weighment etc.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy wanted the Collectors of other districts having these plantations to implement the scheme for the benefit of farmers.

He asked them to ensure that the paper mills make payment within one day of purchase to market committees.

Notified yards

The paper mills should establish dumping yards at notified weigh-bridges. They should purchase the entire quantity brought by farmers to the yards. Collectors should also launch campaign to educate farmers to sell their produce to the paper mills directly and avoid middlemen. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Rytu Sangham demanded the government to increase the price of subabul from Rs. 1,600 to Rs. 2,000 a tonne and eucalyptus from Rs. 1,750 to Rs. 2,500. Sangham district secretary N Rangarao wanted the government to open purchase centres near plantation areas and take action against paper mills which are buying produce outside notified areas.