No end to farmers’ woes as rain continues to damage harvested paddy

Civil Supplies Corporation procures 36LT paddy till May 19; ₹6,112 cr. payment made

Published - May 21, 2024 12:15 am IST - HYDERABAD

A farmer showing the sprouted paddy grain at the bottom of the heap as he tries to dry the stock following overnight rain at Bhoodan Pochampally in Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district.

A farmer showing the sprouted paddy grain at the bottom of the heap as he tries to dry the stock following overnight rain at Bhoodan Pochampally in Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district. | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

The farming community in Telangana is at the receiving end of nature’s fury — untimely rain and early monsoon showers now leading to soaking of paddy — coupled with delays in procurement.

This being the election period, the shortage of labourers (‘hamalis’) for loading and unloading paddy bags, gunny sacks and transportation to shift the purchased grain from procurement centres to godowns/rice mills is hampering the exercise. This delay is forcing farmers to wait for longer periods running up to 4-5 weeks in some cases for getting their turn to weigh their produce and hand it over to the purchase centre for getting payment from the sale proceeds.

Despite the Opposition parties’ allegations of inordinate delays in the procurement process and the State government’s claims of carrying out the exercise faster than during the last Rabi season, farmers’ woes continued to compound with every spell of rain. Incidents of paddy stocks in the drying yards of market committees, near purchase centres getting soaked in the rain and their sprouting in some cases have been making farmers, whose produce is yet to be disposed of, spend sleepless nights.

Official sources told The Hindu that they have plans to procure 75.4 lakh tonnes of paddy this season by opening 7,245 procurement centres. Of those, 7,167 centres were opened so far and purchases were made at 5,971 centres. “A total of 36 lakh tonnes paddy has been purchased as of May 19 this season and it is higher compared to last year, when procurement was 32.16 lakh tonnes,” a senior official said.

Sharing details, he explained that paddy worth ₹8,041.88 crore was purchased from over 6.11 lakh farmers. The farmers were already paid ₹6,112 crore while about ₹1,930 crore was yet to be paid.

The delay in procurement process is also being attributed partly to the delays in lifting 34.59 lakh tonnes of paddy stocks lying with the State Civil Supplies Corporation, which was auctioned, by the companies that bagged the tenders.

Farmer organisations are also demanding that the State government procure the rain-soaked paddy without any delay and give it for milling so that it can be processed as parboiled rice to limit the loss both to the farming community as well as the Civil Supplies Corporation.

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