Telangana

Government to stop maize procurement by month-end

As a result of the lockdown and restricted movement of people half the crop is yet to reach the procurement centres. Maize being dried by a farmer at Chinthakani in Khammam district.

As a result of the lockdown and restricted movement of people half the crop is yet to reach the procurement centres. Maize being dried by a farmer at Chinthakani in Khammam district.   | Photo Credit: G_N_RAO

With less than half the estimated production of maize procured by Telangana State Cooperative Marketing Federation (TS-Markfed), the nodal agency for the food crop’s procurement, so far this yasangi season, the decision of the agency to close purchasing operations on May 31 has come as a jolt to the farming community.

Of the 14.59 lakh tonnes of estimated production at 24.68 quintals per acre, the government agency has procured about 6.94 lakh tonnes as on May 25. The food crop has been cultivated in about 6.26 lakh acres this yasangi season. The production was estimated taking into account the crop’s cultivation in 5.84 lakh acres.

However, the decision to conclude the procurement on May 31 comes as a surprise in spite of the repeated assurance from the government that it would procure the entire production this season in the wake of coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown conditions.

Apart from several ministers, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has himself stated several times that the government would procure the entire quantity of production at minimum support price of ₹1,760 per quintal, although farmers from a few neighbouring States were willing to bring and sell their maize and paddy at ₹1,100 per quintal itself.

Besides, the government has also decided recently to supply the maize at a subsidised rate of ₹1,525 per quintal to poultry farmers since it’s the main raw material in preparing the poultry feed. While issuing the orders the Markfed was also cautioned “against the maize supplied to poultry farmers getting recycled and reaching the procurement centres against under any circumstances”.

According to procurement officials, nearly 6.94 lakh tonnes of maize worth ₹1,221 crore has been procured from over 1.23 lakh farmers at 1,097 purchase centres opened in 28 districts. Of the procurement value, ₹451 crore has been credited into the bank accounts of the farmers concerned.

When contacted, a Markfed official said it was decided to stop procurement since the arrivals at purchase centres have come down. The official unwilling to go on record did not comment when asked as to what would happen to the remaining production of the crop.

Meanwhile, the government has so far procured about 54.12 lakh tonnes of paddy worth ₹9,920 crore at 6,385 purchase centres. Besides, it has also procured over 82,940 tonnes of bengalgram from 88 purchase centres, 6,190 tonnes of sunflower from 14 purchase centres and 4,300 tonnes of jowar from 23 purchase centres.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 9:22:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/government-to-stop-maize-procurement-by-month-end/article31673712.ece

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