Karnal, September 26
With the announcement of the government to advance procurement across the state, procurement agencies have started purchasing paddy from September 25, but the pace is slow.
High moisture content in paddy arriving at procurement centres is a matter of concern for farmers, arhtiyas, and procurement agencies. Besides, there are limited rice millers, who will be assigned the paddy for custom-milled rice (CMR) compared to last year.
The prescribed limit of moisture in grain is 17 per cent, while in some cases the moisture content is between 20 and 27 per cent, due to which farmers have to wait. “We have started the procurement of paddy having moisture within the prescribed limit. We cannot purchase grains that have high moisture. Farmers have been advised to bring produce within the prescribed moisture limit,” said Anil Kalra, DFSC.
The registration of millers for CMR was underway. The district-level committee for procurement had decided to allot paddy for CMR on priority to those millers who delivered CMR last year by April 30, 2023. Around 95 millers delivered CMR on time. More millers would be added for CMR in the next list, he said.
“We have deployed staff for procurement at different grain markets. Gunny bags have also been allotted and transporters have been deputed to lift the procured paddy,” he said.
The farmers blamed the unprecedented climatic conditions for high moisture and demanded the government to issue relaxation. “Farmers had no option but to harvest their crop as rain could destroy it. They have already faced huge losses due to the recent floods and rains. The government should give relaxation in moisture content to save them from further losses,” said Bahadur Singh Mehla, a farmer leader of BKU (Sir Chhotu Ram).
Sunder Singh Kamboj, secretary of the Gharaunda market committee, said procurement had been started by the agencies. The high moisture content had been found in some heaps of grains. “I appeal to the farmers to bring dry paddy grains, so that their produce can be purchased,” he added.
Farmers had no option but to harvest their crop as rain could destroy it. They have already faced huge losses due to the recent floods and rains. The government should give relaxation in moisture content to save them from further losses. — Bahadur S Mehla, BKU (Sir Chhotu Ram)
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