Karnal, September 19
The arrival of parmal (PR) varieties of rice in the grain markets has picked up pace in the district but farmers say they are not getting the minimum support price (MSP) for their crop as rice procurement by government is yet to begin.
May discourage farmers
The government had given farmers an incentive of Rs 4,000 per acre for growing rice using DSR technique. This crop is to be harvested between September 15 and 25 and if farmers have to sell the produce below MSP in the absence of government procurement, they might get discouraged from using this technique again.
Dr Virender Lather, Former Principal Scientist, ICAR-IARI
With only private players purchasing the produce, the crop is being is procured at Rs 1,800-2,000 per quintal, whereas the MSP for the same is Rs 2,203 per quintal.
The district’s grain markets have so far witnessed an arrival of 32,157 quintal PR varieties, which is almost equal to the amount of rice that had arrived until September 18 last year, when the district had recorded an arrival of 32,482 quintal rice.
Agriculture experts have batted for the early procurement of PR varieties to promote direct-seeded rice (DSR) in the state. Rice grown by the DSR technique gives an optimum yield from May 20 to June 15 and it gets harvested by September 15-25.
“The delay in procurement of PR varieties may hamper the promotion efforts of DSR. Under the ‘Mera Pani, Meri Virasat’ scheme, the state government is promoting the DSR that mature early, including PR-126 and others, by giving an incentive of Rs 4,000 per acre. These varieties mature in 115 days if sown by the DSR method and are harvested between September 15 and 25. Therefore, the government should start procuring at the earliest,” said Dr Virender Lather, former principal scientist, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
The government should have started the procurement of PR varieties from September 15 to incentivise the farmers who had sown early using the DSR method as these varieties mature earlier than those sown through the transplant method, said Vijay Kapoor, general secretary, Haryana State Farmers Club.
“If the government does not start procurement of PR varieties with immediate effect, it will cause financial losses to the farmers of Rs 200-300 per acre as the private players are purchasing the PR varieties between Rs 1,800-2,000 per quintal, while the MSP is Rs 2,203,” he added.
Farmers and arhtiyas have demanded that the government starts the procurement immediately to avoid farmers from suffering losses of Rs 8,000-10,000 per acre.
“I had brought PR-26 for around two-and-a-half acres of land, but it was sold at Rs 1,950 per quintal, which is below the MSP. Had the government started the procurement earlier, my crop would have been procured at MSP,” said Rajesh Kumar, a farmer.
Sumit Choudhary, an arhtiya of the Karnal grain market, said the government should start procurement at the earliest.
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