Andhra Pradesh

Farmers pushed to distress sale of paddy in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts

Though the government has set up procurement centres, many have not picked the farmers’ crop forcing them to sell short to rice millers and middlemen

For many the New Year-2020 and the ensuing Sankranti festival is bringing cheer. But not to farmers of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram district. Reason?

With abundant rain in July and August, both districts witnessed bumper yield in the current season. However, farmers have not been able to sell their produce in many places in the absence of minimum support price (MSP). In fact, the government had decided to buy between at ₹1815 and ₹1835 per quintal based on the quality of the paddy. It had even established many procurement centres but those centers had reportedly failed to buy paddy from farmers, causing untold miseries.

Short-changed

According to sources, even 10 percent of the total produce was not bought so far by those centres run by Velugu members and others. To add to farmers’ woes, rice millers are also not interested to buy the produce. The result? In many places farmers are being forced to sell their hard grown crop at throw away prices to middlemen as they feared damage to the stock.

S.Sangam Naidu, a farmer from Palakonda village said the middlemen were offering only ₹ 1,350 per bag. “There were no takers for ‘1075’ variety paddy in the district,” rued another farmer S.Venkataramana of Ramakrishnapuram. So much so, S.Krishna Rao of Vangara mandal and V.Bhujanga Rao of Burada village of Regidi Amadalavalasa urged Srikakulam Collector J.Nivas to take stern action against millers and others who were cheating the farmers.

Collectors get tough and going

Mr. Nivas, who reviewed the issue directed Agriculture, Revenue, and Marketing officials to ensure speedy procurment of paddy and take action on millers and procurement staff if they failed to buy the paddy immediately. “Revenue Inspectors and Village Revenue Officers should monitor the procurement on a day-to-day basis. Senior officials have to coordinate the situation with daily tele- conference in their respective areas,” said Mr. Nivas.

The situation is equally bad in Vizianagaram district with the delay in paddy procurement. Vizianagaram Collector M. Hari Jawaharlal asked district Civil Supplies officials to lift the paddy stock immediately since the farmers did not have storage facility. He said that the farmers would lose their crop with possible rains.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 4:51:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/farmers-pushed-to-distress-sale-of-paddy-in-srikakulam-and-vizianagaram-districts/article30469905.ece

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