Haryana govt.’s guidelines for crop procurement “anti-farmer”: Cong.

Producers are forced to sell below MSP due to urgent need of cash, it says

April 13, 2020 05:22 pm | Updated 05:22 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

With the purchase of the rabi crops by the government about to start in Haryana, the Congress party has accused the ruling BJP-JJP government of increasing the farmers’ woes by issuing “anti-farmer” guidelines for the procurement of crops.

Also read: COVID-19 lockdown | Haryana to start staggered wheat procurement from April 20

Terming the decision of asking farmers to register themselves on the government web portal “Meri Fasal Mera Byora” to sell their produce as anti-farmer, State president Kumari Selja has accused the State government of harassing farmers.

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“First corona epidemic and then the wrong decisions of the government on purchase of crop during the lockdown have increased the problems of farmers. The delay and the conditions imposed for the purchase have put farmers in a severe crisis,” she said.

The government had recently come out with a set of guidelines to reduce congestion and ensure social distancing in the ‘mandis’ (yards) amid the rising cases of the COVID-19 . It said only 100 farmers would be allowed to bring their produce to the ‘mandis’ every day. The market committees will ensure that all the agricultural produce including wheat, mustard and black gram should be brought only after an online e-gate pass is issued to the farmers, who are registered and verified on the portal. Registration is open till April 19, according to the State Agricultural Marketing Board.

Ms. Selja said the farmers were already facing the problems of storing the produce and delayed payment due to the delay in procurement. “Now decisions like the registration condition would only add to their misery. The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of mustard was ₹4,425 per quintal while farmers are being forced to sell between ₹3,500 and ₹3,700 because of urgent need of cash. Not only this, the wheat crop, which has an MSP of 1,925 per quintal, is being sold as advanced contracts at ₹1,800 per quintal,” she alleged.

Former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda has also expressed concern over the registration provision. “Amid the ongoing lockdown, there would be many farmers who may not be able to register. In this time of crises, the government should ensure that produce from all farmers is purchased whether they are registered or not,” said Mr. Hooda.

The procurement of mustard will start from April 15 and wheat from April 20. The procurement season 2020-21 will end on June 30.

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