Association submits memorandum to State government
Delta farmers have urged the State government to convene a tripartite meeting usually convened in October-November every year to discuss and chart out a plan for paddy procurement for the current season.
Details of procurement of paddy raised as samba, thaladi and summer crops in delta districts are discussed by Revenue and Civil Supplies officials and farmers at the meeting chaired by Agriculture and Food Ministers. Since harvest is set to begin from the third week of December, the annual meeting must be convened as early as possible, they said.
In a memorandum addressed to the Chief Secretary to the Tamil Nadu government and other senior officials heading the concerned departments involved in procurement process, Sundara Vimalanathan, secretary, Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association, has urged the government to convene the meeting immediately in order to enlighten farmers about preparations made by officials for procurement of paddy during the Rabi season.
The farmers are eagerly waiting to know the amount to be offered as ‘incentive’ by the State government over and above the minimum support price announced by the Union government and also whether the Civil Supplies Corporation willl reintroduce the facility for procurement of paddy from near the fields during this season, he added.
The State government had offered an MSP of ₹1,865 per quintal for common variety and ₹1,905 per quintal for grade A (fine) variety paddy ,including the incentive amount, during 2019-20 procurement season (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020).
From October 1, 2020, onwards the procurement price for both varieties was increased by ₹53 per qunital taking the MSP for common variety to ₹1,918 per quintal and for fine variety to ₹1,958, official sources said.
Meanwhile, G. Srinivasan of Ganapathi Agraharam, a progressive farmer, says the governments must procure agriculture produce from farmers and sell them to traders or other entities contemplating or engaged in the business of producing value-added products of various agriculture produces including paddy.
The plea, according to him, is an offshoot of the ongoing nation-wide debate over the positive and negative impacts of the three new farm laws recently enacted by the Union government.
Pointing out that hitherto the government alone procured the paddy at the MSP and traders/businessmen procure the produce at a lesser rate, he says farmers fear that the trend may continue in future too. Traders/business houses may take refuge under the ‘quality’ norms and cut down the procurement price.
Further, there is also a fair chance of agriculture fields turning infertile if corporate/business houses insist the farmers go in for hybrid varieties even as farmers are turning their attention towards cultivation of traditional varieties under organic farming, Mr. Srinivasan adds.
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