Green gram farmers want Centre to increase quantity of procurement

Published - May 18, 2024 11:50 pm IST - CHENNAI


Farmers of Tiruvallur district, who have produced green gram, want the quantity of procurement to be increased. At present only 123 kilos of lentil can be procured per acre at the regulated market, which is hardly enough.  

“This lentil is being procured on behalf of the Central government, which has fixed an upper limit for procurement. A farmer can sell produce from only from 2.5 acres per day. And only 400 tonnes can be purchased for the Redhills block,” said M.V. Chandrasekar, secretary, Market Commitee, Kancheepuram 

At Ponneri, around 5,000 farmers produce the small-sized native variant ponneri green gram dal on 15,000 acres of land. Farmer Vijayakumar, who is also chairman of the Ponneri Farmers Producers Company, said that they harvest around 300 kg-600 kg of dal per acre.  

“For three months of work if we get to sell 123 kg of dal per acre, we earn just ₹7,000 as profit, which is our earnings. It is hardly enough. Since all our produce is not sold at the regulated market, we have to sell it to traders in the open market. They pay us only ₹70 per kg, whereas we sell at ₹85.50/kg to the Central government. If the regulated market procures all three bags of 100 kgs each from a farmer per acre, he will stand to earn an additional ₹3,500 per acre,” explained Mr. Vijayakumar.  

Farmers have a few more demands. They want the duration of procurement to be changed from May to March, which is when the harvests happen. “We are forced to find storage space for about two months and if the place is not clean or has moisture. We are faced with bug infestations,” said Padmanabhan, another farmer.  

The specifications provided by the Centre are also too stringent. For instance, they have to spend ₹1 or ₹2 per kilo to remove mud balls the size of the lentils. These are under the category of foreign particles. However, this time, the FPO has set up a sieving machine to remove the mud balls and foreign particles in the regulated market itself.  

Tiruvallur Collector T. Prabhushankar said that the request would be forwarded to the State government for further action. “This particular variant of lentil is very much sought after in West Bengal and other parts of the north east as it is considered tastier than the large-sized ones. We will try to help the farmers.”

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