‘Farmers are in distress as it has killed demand in the market'
Jayaprakash Narayan, MLA from Andhra Pradesh and president of the Lok Satta party, has said that the Union Government should enhance storage capacity in available godowns and ask the State Trading Corporation of India (STC) to export rice to safeguard interests of farmers.
Speaking after inaugurating a rally of farmers, jointly organised by the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and the Hasiru Sene here on Wednesday, he said that wrong policies adopted by the Union Government had hit farmers. All farmers, especially paddy growers, were in distress owing to the ban imposed on the export of rice.
He said that the Centre had banned export of all varieties of rice, except Basmati. This decision had put a stop to the marketing of rice. Godowns were full with a huge stock of paddy and rice and farmers could not sell paddy due to lack of demand. Both traders and farmers had suffered heavy losses. Mr. Narayana explained that with a huge dead stock of over 100 million tonnes of rice in the country, the price of the commodity had fallen drastically. “There are no takers in the market even though farmers are ready to sell paddy at Rs. 1,000 per quintal. At this rate, the farmers will not be able to recover the cost of cultivation. The number of suicide cases among farmers could increase if the situation continues,” he said.
Urging the Centre to find alternative solutions to liquidate the huge stock of rice, he suggested exporting the surplus stock through the STC.
Chamarasa Malipatil, vice-president of the State unit of the KRRS, and a group of progressive farmers spoke.