Govt. to start procuring paddy from farmers next year: Minister

Main issue is we are unable to procure paddy, says R. Kamalakannan

Main issue is we are unable to procure paddy, says R. Kamalakannan   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou

Recent Assembly elections have proved might of farmers, says Kamalakannan

Keenly aware that ignoring the plight of farmers would imperil the ruling class, Minister for Agriculture R. Kamalakannan said that the Congress has decided to take corrective steps, including procurement of paddy, to improve the livelihood of farmers.

“The recent Assembly elections have proved the might of farming community. We have taken note of the issues pertaining to farmers in the Union Territory. The government has constituted a committee headed by the Development Commissioner to look into procurement of paddy from farmers,” Minister for Agriculture R. Kamalakannan told The Hindu.

One of the first steps that the Congress took after assuming office was to waive farm loans totalling ₹19 crore, he said.

For the last few years, neither the territorial administration nor the Food Corporation of India had been procuring paddy from farmers in Puducherry and Karaikal regions. The farmers were selling paddy at ₹250 lower than the minimum support price, he said.

“We are aware of the plight of paddy cultivators. The main issue before farmers was that we were not able to procure rice from farmers. So, a committee headed by the Development Commissioner has been constituted to look into various aspects of paddy procurement,” he said.

The main issue in procurement, he said, was the loss the government sometime incurred while selling it in the open marker after procurement. There was a Central scheme to reimburse the loss suffered by the State government, he said.

The government had been planning to start paddy procurement from the beginning of next year, Mr. Kamalakannan said.

Govt. to pay interest

The government would issue a notification soon to bear the interest of loan taken by farmers from cooperative societies. The societies charged 4% to 7% as interest from farmers. If the interest of farmers could be absorbed by the government, the burden of farmers to repay the loan would come down, he added.

The government had started transferring the subsidy to farmers’ account for buying fertilizers, pesticides and tractors. The government had decided not to insist on buying a particular brand of tractor. Instead, the farmer would be given the choice to from a panel of companies, he added.

A notification had been issued recently to include banana cultivation under insurance cover. The government was committed to the welfare of farmers by assisting them to improve the yield, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 6:51:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/govt-to-start-procuring-paddy-from-farmers-next-year-minister/article25791929.ece

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