But farmers are in for trouble as there is no storage space
Rice price in the open market has drastically fallen as abundant new crop is all set to arrive shortly. Fine variety rice, which was sold at Rs.30 per kg last year, is now available for Rs.22, providing the much-needed relief to consumers.
Millers and traders are selling BPT and Samba Masuri, considered to be fine varieties, at Rs.2,100 to Rs.2,200 per quintal. Huge publicity is being given about the new price so that it will be easy for the millers and traders to clear the old stock. Normal varieties are available for Rs.1,800 to Rs.1,900 per quintal in the market.
Consumers, who were charged exorbitant rates last year, are happy with the fall in price. “Fine varieties were sold at Rs.34 a kg two years ago, making it difficult to purchase even by the upper middle class section. Traders cannot swindle extra money with the arrival of bumper crop this year,” says K.B. Raju, a retired lecturer.
Clearing the old stock is the need of the hour for them, as the bumper crop is expected to come in a couple of months. Normally, 8.5 lakh tonnes of rice is produced every year in Srikakulam rice mills and it will cross even 10 lakh tonnes this year, causing tension among the Civil Supplies Department, millers and farmers with the lack of godown facility.
Srikakulam District Rice Millers' Association president T. Joga Rao says it is difficult for rice millers to handle extra production if the government does not relax rules to store it in other districts such as Vizianagaram, where more godowns are available.
“All the millers from this region are scheduled to leave for Hyderabad on Tuesday to meet Ministers and higher officials concerned to find out a solution to godown facility. Otherwise, farmers and millers will be in deep trouble as the district can store only one lakh tonnes of rice,” Mr. Jogara Rao told The Hindu.