Paddy farmers on tenterhooks

Paddy farmers on tenterhooks

Govt fails to implement 100 support price

In a fix: Farmers prepare to sell paddy in the market at  Davangere on Monday. DH Photo

Three days after the State  announced - somewhat reluctantly - the  Rs 100 subsidy under pressure from farmers, an order to the effect is yet to reach the district admnistration.
The result is that the purchase centres are buying paddy at the rates fixed by the Centre -
Rs 1,030 a quintal for ‘A’ grade paddy and Rs 1,000 for the ‘B’ quality grain.

The district administration received a government directive on Monday, but the missive contained nothing about the support price, it is learnt. It only states that in the districts where farmers have been suffering due to fall in prices, such as Davangere, Koppal, Raichur and Shimoga, paddy should be procured at the rates fixed by the Centre. In other words, it does not mention subsidy.

Depressed by the dip in paddy prices, farmers find it a financial burden to transport paddy to the purchase centre. Costs of transporting the paddy to the centre, as well as the bags to pack paddy and the cost of labour add Rs 50 per quintal. As the final rate after adding the costs is virtually the same as what they get in the open market, farmers sell paddy to private buyers, in order to mobilise funds for the next crop. Paddy was grown in three lakh hectares in the State during the rabi crop. In Davangere district, paddy was sown in 50,000 hectares and the harvest has been affected by early monsoon, entailing losses for farmers.

“The State Government is cheating us, by promising us subsidy. What moral authority do they have to demand that the Centre fix a scientific price for paddy? The government should stop creating confusion and issue a directive to the administration to distribute the Rs 100 subsidy,” says district JD(S) leader B M Satish. “We are yet to receive the directive to distribute the subsidy. We are expecting to get the directive in the next two days. Till then paddy will be purchased at the rates fixed by the Centre,” Dr K Rameshwarappa, Deputy Director, Food and Civil Supplies. said.

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