‘Poor’ paddy procurement

Farmers protest, say getting less than MSP

MUKTSAR: Irked over poor arrangements for procurement, a large number of paddy growers today protested at different places by blocking the roads in Muktsar district, alleging a nexus among rice millers, commission agents and officials of procurement agencies.

Farmers protest, say getting less than MSP

Farmers block the Muktsar-Jalalabad road by staging a dharna on Tuesday. Tribune photo

Archit Watts

Tribune News Service

Muktsar, October 11

Irked over poor arrangements for procurement, a large number of paddy growers today protested at different places by blocking the roads in Muktsar district, alleging a nexus among rice millers, commission agents and officials of procurement agencies.

The farmers claimed that the rice millers and commission agents were not paying them the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,510 per quintal for their paddy crop. “The rice millers are paying between Rs 1,400 and 1,430 per quintal, saying the crop’s moisture content was high and terming it of low quality. We have approached the authorities concerned a number of times in the past few days, but to no avail,” said farmers of Attari, Noorpur Kirpal Ke, Mangat Ker, Gulabewala and Khappianwali villages. They blocked the Muktsar-Guruharsahai road over the issue.

Similarly, farmers of Sohnewala village blocked the Muktsar-Jalalabad road. At Jhabelwali village, some farmers burnt their crop at the Focal Point to lodge a symbolic protest against the state government. Farmers at Killianwali in the Lambi Assembly segment stopped the traffic on the Malout-Dabwali National Highway.

Congress MLA from Muktsar Karan Kaur Brar said, “The farmers are sitting in mandis for the past 10 days, but the officials concerned are least bothered about their problems. The rice millers are not paying the MSP to buy the crop. If the situation continues to remain same, the number of protests will only increase.”

Similarly, Jagjit Singh ‘Honey Fattanwala’, a Congress leader, said, “Some rice millers are telling farmers that the quality of the crop was inferior and they will be paid Rs 1,430 per quintal. The CM should personally look into the matter.”

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