Wednesday, October 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Khanna mandi full to brim
From Jupinderjit Singh
and Iqbal Singh

KHANNA (Ludhiana), Oct 10 — The condition of glut of paddy in grain markets of Ludhiana district and especially in Asia’s biggest grain market here has reached a critical stage. With the two markets in this town filled to the brim, farmers have no option but to use the footpath and berms along the Grand Trunk Road to pile up their paddy produce.

The situation may turn from bad to worse in the coming days as paddy procurement has not picked up much momentum. Further, farmers from other districts like Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur, Patiala and even from faraway Bathinda have started descending at this large market. They are covering the long distance in the hope of getting a ‘fair’ price for the crop or just manage to sell the produce here as paddy procurement in their respective markets remains dismal.

“Halaat bahut kharaab hun’’ (the situation is serious) was the standard assertion by farmers, commission agents, rice shellers or even members of the market committee while responding to queries about the state of paddy procurement.

Mr Jagtar Singh, a farmer from Patiala, said the scenario was grim in the grain market there as due to space shortage farmers were faced with downloading paddy outside the grain market. He informed that things had come to such a pass there that columns of heaps of paddy had reached the main road which was more than 100 metres away from the mandi.

Pointing towards heaps of paddy piling up along the GT Road, Mr Ranbir Sood, vice-chairman of the market committee and an old commission agent, said it happened were rarely that the largest grain market did not have space left for more stock of paddy. He said the piled up paddy on the roadside spoke for itself about the condition of paddy procurement.

According to him, several farmers were camping in the market for the past one week or so in the hope of getting a good price. Those who could not wait for long have been forced to resort to distress sale of their hard-earned produce. The distress sale price ranges from as low as Rs 300 to Rs 450. One farmer, Ram Singh who, sold paddy worth Rs 3.5 lakh last year managed to sell paddy worth Rs 47,000 this year while the remaining quantity had no buyers.

Figures accrued from the market committee have also confirmed that the private buyers were the main sellers . Nearly 60 per cent of the paddy sold so far has been purchased by the private buyers.

Rice millers are also sore over the situation. In normal circumstances the milled rice is sold at Rs 950 per quintal whereas now the price has come down to Rs 747 only.


Rice specifications relaxed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 10 — The Union Government today relaxed specifications in the case of parboiled rice for the current kharif marketing season.

The Union Government has enhanced the percentage of damaged or slightly damaged grain to 4 from 3 and discoloured grain from 4 to 5. The percentage of broken grain has been enhanced to 14 from 16.Back

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