ANDHRA PRADESH

Paddy farmers look to State’s support

Staff Reporter

Seek fair deal on purchase of discoloured stocks



They favour relaxation in norms framed by FCI

Millers offering only Rs. 600 per 75 kg bag as against MSP of Rs. 725



ELURU: Farmers staged a demonstration at the Collectorate here on Tuesday, under the banners of the Andhra Pradesh Rytanga Samakhya and the Rytu Karyacharana Samithi, urging the government to come to their rescue in disposing of the discoloured paddy stocks.

Exploitation

In a memorandum submitted to Collector G. Jayalakshmi, the peasant leaders underscored the need for government intervention in purchase of discoloured paddy from the farmers to save them from exploitation by millers.

They wanted the Civil Supplies Corporation and Markfed to intervene and lift the stocks from the farmers by giving them a fair deal.

The leaders appealed to the State government to prevail upon the Centre the need for relaxation of specifications framed by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for paddy procurement from the farmers through the millers.

The large quantities of paddy stocks accumulated with the farmers were waiting for takers as the millers were not willing to procure the stocks on the ground of discolouring caused by the recent cyclones, which devastated the paddy fields in two spells in the rabi within a short span.

Rain effect

According to Maganti Sitarama Swamy of the Rytanga Samakhya, more than 80 per cent of paddy in the delta had become discoloured as paddy sheaths remained under a sheet of rainwater after harvesting for several days.

In addition, grain-shedding was reported all over the delta region, causing heavy losses to the farmers, and the paddy kept sprouting, which all led to a sharp decline in its price.

The paddy yield reportedly dropped by 5-6 bags per acre in the delta in the rabi due to grain-shedding.

Mr. Swamy said the millers were offering only Rs. 600 per 75 kg bag of paddy as against the minimum support price of Rs. 725.

Demanding opening of more paddy purchase centres by the Markfed and the Civil Supplies Department in the district, the peasant leaders asked the government to write off the land cess in the current kharif as a relief to the cyclone-hit farmers.

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