There is huge stock, but traders cannot afford to buy
A huge stock of paddy and lack of funds among traders has affected paddy growers in the State. The farmers might have to face a significant loss if the State and Union governments take no immediate steps to liquidate the dead stock of paddy.
Restrictions on the export of rice and a lack of interest among policy makers to look into the problems faced by farmers are added disadvantages in marketing the produce, Hanumangouda Belgurki, a progressive farmer, has said.
Speaking to presspersons here on Sunday, Mr. Belgurki, who is a farmer from the Tungabhadra command area in Raichur district, said that last year, traders had procured over 3 crore bags of paddy worth Rs. 3,000 crore, estimating that the price would go up this year.
However, this has now affected the market as there is a huge stock of paddy but no demand for it. Traders did not have enough funds to procure paddy owing to lack of liquidation of available stock.
Farmers who had raised advances from banks against their produce were now being served notices and threatened with seizure, he said.
This was the case in paddy cultivation areas of the command areas of Tungabhadra and Krishna, covering Raichur, Koppal, and Bellary districts of the State, as well as Mahaboobnagar and Kurnul districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Such a situation could have been avoided if the district administrations had submitted reports in this regard, Mr. Belgurki said.
Minimum support price
According to the farmer, the situation has brought down the price of paddy below Rs. 650 for a 75-kg bag, as against the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs. 1,080 a quintal announced by the Centre.
He urged the State Government to procure paddy at the MSP with an additional Rs.100 a quintal as remuneration.
The Centre should initiate action to withdraw restrictions imposed on the export of rice (other than Basmati), to help improve the price of the commodity, he said.
Besides, Mr. Belgurki called upon the Government to convene a meeting of farmers, elected representatives and raitha sanghas of all districts to find a solution for early liquidation of the available stock.