Steps to speed up paddy harvest, procurement

Workers loading procured paddy on a truck . A scene from upper Kuttanad near Thiruvalla.

Workers loading procured paddy on a truck . A scene from upper Kuttanad near Thiruvalla. | Photo Credit: LEJU KAMAL

Taking note of the plight of the paddy farmers in Central Travancore who have been hit hard by back-to-back spells of unseasonal rain, the State government has mooted special measures to speed up harvest and procurement of paddy from Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts.

A high-level meeting jointly convened by Agriculture Minister P. Prasad and Civil Supplies Minister G.R. Anil on Monday directed mills to complete the procurement process within two days and warned stern action against any lapses in adhering to the deadline. Directions were also issued to the district administrations concerned to intervene immediately in case of disputes over the quality and quantity of the crop, besides setting up temporary storage facilities based on requirement.

Panel to be formed

The meeting also decided to constitute a committee comprising the respective District Collector, Principal Agriculture Officer and the Paddy Marketing Officer to oversee and ensure time-bound procurement of the crop. This is in addition to a local-level committee comprising the Agriculture Officer, Paddy Procurement Officer and a Deputy Collector appointed by the District Collector, which will update the District Collector of the situation from each location on a daily basis.

With the monsoon fast approaching, a decision on expediting harvest by making available more combine harvesters was also made. Director of Agriculture, officials of the Civil Supplies department, Secretaries of various departments and mill owners were also present.

Slowing down of process

Hundreds of tonnes of paddy harvested from various polders across Kuttanad and upper Kuttanad are now facing the prospects of a total loss owing to a slowing down of the paddy procurement process. The slowing down of procurement has forced the farmers to keep the paddy in the open for several days, triggering concerns over the moisture content in the crop rising beyond permissible levels.

The farmers have accused the mills and their agents of taking advantage of the unseasonal rain and seeking to raise the concession limit while striking the purchase deals.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2022 7:38:47 am |