Tamil Nadu

Farmers forced to take the long haul to sell paddy

They have started to sell their produce to traders at a lower price

DINDIGUL

Neither bumper harvest nor good procurement price announced by the government has made paddy growers in Athoor block of Dindigul district happy as they are unable to sell their produce at direct procurement centres opened at their doorstep due to alleged intervention and coercion by local political bigwigs who have tie up with commission agents.

“We are not allowed to sell our produce in a DPC opened at Chithaiyankottai. Local people chase us away from Chithaiyankottai. Instead, we are coerced to transport our produce to another DPC at Chitharevu, 17 km away,” says K. Selvam of Athoor.

S. Murugan of Athoor alleges that the district administration and the government have not taken any action against these persons to remove hurdles for selling paddy at Chithiayankottai DPC. “The local political bigwigs divert our goods to Chitharevu from Chithiayankottai. The DPC officials too are not able to do anything to prevent it. We have to shell out a sizeable amount for transportation to Chitharevu,” he says.

Initially, the district administration opened a DPC at Chitharevu. When paddy growers appealed for a DPC at Chithaiyankottai to cut transportation charges, it immediately opened it.

Paddy grown in more than 3,600 acres in Chithiayankottai, Athoor, Iyyampalayam and nearby areas is now ready for harvest. Many farmers, who cannot afford huge freight charges, have started to leave the crop in the field without harvesting it.

Capitalising on the pathetic condition, middlemen have started procuring paddy from farmers directly at the rate of ₹12.5 a kg, against the government procurement rate of ₹16.50 a kg.

Farmers have appealed to the district administration to take immediate action against traders and clear hurdles to enable farmers to sell their produce at Chithiayankottai DPC immediately.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:53:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/farmers-forced-to-take-the-long-haul-to-sell-paddy-dindigul/article23436263.ece

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