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Haryana

Farmers cry foul over paddy glut

December 08, 2019 06:27 AM

COURTESY HT DEC 8
govt in a fix Large quantity of paddy is arriving from Uttar Pradesh due to which Haryana’s farmers are facing stiff competition during procurement by government agencies


Neeraj Mohan

neeraj.mohan@hindustantimes.com

Karnal : The paddy glut arriving at the state’s grain markets from the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh has once again pushed the state’s farmers into anguish, affecting their chances of procurement by government agencies.

Interestingly, the problem has popped up at a time when the state government claims to have brought down the area under cultivation by about 50,000 hectares under the ‘Jal Hi Jeevan Hai (conserve water) scheme by giving incentives to farmers for diversifying from paddy.

As per information, 73.20 lakh MT rice has already been procured, even as the state government’s target was only 54 lakh MT. Government agencies have procured 64.13 lakh MT paddy while the remaining 9.04 lakh MT has been procured by the millers and dealers.

Spot visits to grain markets by Hindustan Times revealed that about 63% (or 45.61 lakh MT) of the total 73.56 lakh MT paddy in the state has arrived from five districts located on Haryana-Uttar Pradesh Boarder. In Karnal alone, 17.50 lakh MT paddy has arrived followed by 11.42 lakh MT in Kurukshetra, over 8.82 lakh MT in Ambala and over 7.28 lakh MT in Yamunanagar.

PROBLEM OF PLENTY

At Ladwa grain market in Kurukshetra, paddy arrival this year has increased to 18.17 lakh quintals. “Increase in arrival of both Parmal and Basmati varieties prove that paddy from other states is only reason behind increase in production in Kurukshetra which also has a huge area under cultivation of vegetables and sugarcane,” said an official who did not want to be named.

Mandis in Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s home district Karnal too are the preferred choice of foodgrain traders from UP, creating a problem for local farmers, who could not sell their produce on MSP.

WHY UP FARMERS PREFER HARYANA

Mandis in UP are not as robust as those in Haryana and as the commission agents in Haryana pay them in cash, they prefer selling their produce here. Besides, UP farmers are even happy to sell their produce below the minimum support price. “In UP, there is no ban on transplantation of paddy before June 15, like in Haryana. Government agencies in UP do not procure the entire produce on MSP, which is we they come here,” said a paddy dealer of Shamli district of UP. Commission agents from Haryana deputed in UP purchase foodrains from farmers and sell it in Haryana for a commission of ₹50-100 per quintal, he added.

FARMERS’ PLIGHT

Haryana BKU leader Ratan Mann said the abundance of foodgrains has created a problems for local farmers, who are unable to sell their produce (both wheat and paddy) on MSP as the government agencies fix the quota for procurement. The state farmers thus fail to sell their produce due to early arrival of foodgrains from UP, which touches the quota quickly.

GOVT FIRM ON FARMERS’ INTERESTS

“We are determined to act in farmers’ interest and hence we are shifting on to ‘Meri Fasal Mera Byora portal for paddy too, Through this, the government would purchase the produce (average per acre basis) online,” said agriculture minister JP Dalal.

On the question of a nexus between commission agents and officials, he said, “We are clear that the commission agents would also be taken into confidence and exhorted to continue their business but also keep farmers’ interests in mind.”

Deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala also said that the issue would be sorted out in the next few days. “The report pertaining to paddy quantity with the millers is being compiled. Once it’s done, we would be able to say whether there are irregularities or not and if yes, to what extent and at what level,” he said.

 
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