Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao
Slow progress in procurement of paddy by government agencies creates trouble
Schools buildings to be converted into storage centres
All the FCI godowns are full with old stocks
WARANGAL: The poor and hapless farmers are in for trouble always either for the reasons man-made or natural.
This time, the farmers are in dilemma with slow progress in procurement by the government agencies.
With no place to stock the paddy that witnessed huge production this year, the district Collector B. Janardhan Reddy took initiative and ordered that all the government school buildings be converted into temporary storage centres of paddy.
Since it was vacation time, the school buildings were vacant and the district administration desired to utilise them until alternate arrangements were made.
The district witnessed 3.36 lakh metric tonnes of paddy production grown in an extent of 79,209 hectares but all the existing godowns could only store up to 1.52 lakh metric tonnes. All the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns were full to the brim with the old stocks and there was no space left for the newly procured paddy.
Going ahead with the tradition, the government agencies like Indira Kranthi Patham, the Civil Supplies Department and FCI opened 62 procurement centres across the district. “The FCI godowns have no space and the problem is not restricted to Warangal district alone,” Collector B. Janardhan Reddy pointed out.
The private rice millers too were coming forward providing some relief to the agitating farmers. But in mandals like Kesamudram and Jangaon there were few rice mills and as a result, the farmers dumped their stocks in open market yards. Following the recent hailstorms and sudden downpour, large stocks of paddy was damaged and farmers were left grieving.
The procurement of paddy by different government agencies and rice millers so far accounted for about 1.72 lakh metric tonnes.
As the farmers were forced to wait, the middlemen and traders were out to exploit the impatience of farmers offering less than the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs. 930 per quintal.
The farmers too exposed to natural vagaries like sudden rainfall were resorting to distress sale.