Kerala

Farmers in distress due to paddy procurement delay

A delay in the procurement of paddy has put farmers in the district in distress.

Paddy, which has already been harvested including in Kuttanad, remains piled up in fields. On the other hand, a large number of farmers have postponed harvesting following an impasse over procurement.

Earlier, mills decided to keep away from procurement after they failed to reach an agreement with the government. Following this, the government has decided to rope in cooperative societies to procure paddy directly from farmers. However, a lack of storage, among other facilities for cooperative societies in the district has resulted in the delay.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Monday visited paddy fields in Kuttanad and Palakkad and interacted with farmers there. In a statement issued, Mr. Chennithala said he had discussed the issue with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over telephone. Mr. Chennithala said the Chief Minister had promised to find a solution to the issue on Tuesday.

Mr. Chennithala said that the paddy farmers were facing a huge crisis. “The State government’s decision to entrust cooperative societies with paddy procurement in place of mills has already destroyed large quantities of paddy. Harvested paddy is lying in fields. The thulavarsham (northeast monsoon) is set to begin in the next couple of days. This will result in total crop loss,” Mr. Chennithala said.

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has urged the government to immediately intervene in the matter.

Earlier, the August floods had destroyed the additional crop (second crop) in around 3,500 hectares in the district. However, crop in around 5,300 hectares survived the floods. This was the third year in a row, Kuttanad suffered crop loss in the additional crop season. Last year too, torrential downpour clubbed with an increased inflow of water from the eastern districts resulted in bund breaches and flooding, destroying paddy in large tracts. In 2018, back-to-back floods had destroyed the additional crop in its entirety.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 11:35:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/farmers-in-distress-due-to-paddy-procurement-delay/article32946136.ece

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