Farmers fear worst as thousands quintals of paddy lying in open

Paddy crop lying under open sky near FCI procurement centre at Kathua. —Excelsior/ Pardeep
Paddy crop lying under open sky near FCI procurement centre at Kathua. —Excelsior/ Pardeep

Procurement process slow by FCI

Excelsior Correspondent

KATHUA, Oct 19: The farmers harvesting the paddy crop are worried in view of the bad weather conditions and forecast made about inclement weather in coming days by Metrological Department.
The farmers, who dumped their thousands quintals of Paddy in Government run Paddy Procurement Centre setup by Food Cooperation of India (FCI) under the open sky are worried that the entire crop will get destroyed in the event of rain. As there is no arrangement of sheds or polythene sheets or covered storage in FCI mandies setup in Kathua and Samba districts the farmers worries have increased.
The farmers dumped thousands quintals of Paddy for sale in these Mandies. The waiting farmers waited for many days to deposit the paddy at procurement centres made by Food Corporation of India (FCI). As many as eight mandies are functioning in Kathua district and flow of Paddy coming in these Mandies is enormous. The farmers show serious concern over failure of authorities in upgrading these mandies as per their demands. The farmers Puri Singh, Karnail Singh, Randhir Singh and Babu Ram asked the Government to setup some Mandies to increase the flow of Paddy procurement. They demanded the construction of pacca infrastructure keeping in view the bad weather and making arrangements of sheds or polythene cover for Paddy lying in the Mandies for sale.
They also demanded regular power supply in these Mandies to speedup the procurement process. The farmers also asked the Government to increase the scale of Paddy procurement from 24 quintals per acres to 30 quintals per acres on the pattern of other states as the production of Paddy is increasing upto 30 quintals per acres. As there is not any private dealer ready to purchase the Paddy from farmers on Government prescribed rates in such circumstances the farmers may suffer loss if the whole Paddy is not lifted by FCI.
The farmers also approached to visiting Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Shoba Karandlaje to solve their grievances as earliest as possible.