It hovers between Rs.1,100, Rs.1,200 a bag (61 kg)

Paddy, a crop cultivated in the district, has fetched higher procurement prices this season indicating an increase in the price of rice in coming months.

Procurement price of fine paddy variety has been hovering between Rs.1,100 and Rs.1,200 a bag (61 kg) due to a sharp dip in production in Theni and in other parts of the State. Some traders pay even more to farmers at Palanichettipatti, at the far end of the Cumbum Valley.

The procurement price last year hovered between Rs.550 to Rs.650.

Following crop failure in major production centres, particularly in delta areas and Madurai district, paddy availability is limited to Theni district.

Traders from Virudhunagar, Madurai, Thanjavur, Theni, Tiruchi and Tiruvarur and Thiruvannamalai camp at Cumbum, Uthamaplayam, Chinnamanur and Theni to procure the entire production. Traders from other areas are ready to pay cash to farmers, whereas local traders seek credit, says S. Palanivel, a local trader.

Farmers unhappy

Despite an acceptable procurement price, farmers are not happy. The hike does not reflect our profit in view of the rise in overhead costs. It is not sufficient to settle accumulated debt, says P. Mani, a farmer of Uthamapalayam.