Madurai

DPCs helping middlemen: farmers

Collector S. Natarajan at the farmer's grievance day meet held at the Madurai Collectorate on Thursday.

Collector S. Natarajan at the farmer's grievance day meet held at the Madurai Collectorate on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: R_ASHOK

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They also seek revival of an abandoned irrigation scheme in Peraiyur region

The Direct Procurement Centres (DPCs) set up in the district at various places for paddy cultivation during samba season were not helping the farmers, but only the middlemen and traders, a section of farmers alleged during the monthly farmers’ grievance meeting here on Thursday.

N. Palanichamy, president, Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Farmers’ Association, said that DPCs have been opened even though harvest has not begun in many areas in the district. He alleged that middlemen were using this window to sell their stock through the DPCs at the minimum support price. “They must have bought it at a cheaper rate from farmers and are now selling it at a higher price,” he said.

Pointing out that DPCs were given targets for procurement, he alleged that paddy from farmers were likely to be refused this season as the centres would have already reached their target, primarily through the stock sold by middlemen.

Farmers also expressed concern over insistence of a certificate from Village Administrative Officers for selling paddy at the DPCs. “Importantly, majority of the VAOs are on strike for more than two weeks now. How are we supposed to get the certificates,” one of the farmers asked.

Other issues that dominated the grievance redressal meeting on Thursday included the demand from farmers in Peraiyur region for reviving the proposal of an abandoned irrigation scheme, and maintenance of water bodies.

M. Pandian, one of the farmers from the region, said that the scheme initiated three decades before to provide irrigation to the arid region never took off despite successive inspections by officials. P.V. Kathiravan, former MLA, Usilampatti, appealed to the Collector to help in revival of the scheme.

A number of farmers highlighted irregularities and inefficiencies in the maintenance of water bodies. Responding to the concerns, Collector S. Natarajan said that special focus was being given to desilt water bodies and clear encroachments.

On the demand by Mr. Kathiravan that all tanks with an ayacut of more than 50 acres must be brought under the control of Public Works Department for better maintenance, the Collector said that such a decision cannot be taken at the district level.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 3:55:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/dpcs-helping-middlemen-farmers/article25847808.ece

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