KFCSC stalls paddy procurement, farmers exploited

Traders purchasing paddy from desperate farmers at a lesser price

Farmers are being exploited by private traders as the government has stopped procurement of paddy, due to non-availability of godowns to stock the produce.

The Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation (KFCSC) has put up a banner on the gate of the APMC yard in Mandya, which states that the procurement of paddy has been temporarily stalled in Mandya taluk, due to non-availability of godowns.

 However, it declares that the farmers can avail tokens from the procurement officer, by producing relevant documents for future procurement.

A couple of days back, farmers had staged a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office, in Mandya, to check the exploitation by middlemen. “The KFCSC has stopped procurement of paddy, by paying the minimum support price plus incentive, as it does not have adequate space to store the produce.

 The farmers also do not have proper space to store their produce. So, the traders are buying paddy from desperate farmers at Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,400 per quintal, along with a copy of the RTC of the respective farmer. They plan to sell the paddy to KFCSC, when the procurement process resumes and hope to pocket a margin, up to Rs 300 per quintal,” they said.

There has been overwhelming response, in the district, for levy collection as well as procurement of paddy as the market for the produce is not encouraging. 

Annual target

The government had set an annual target to collect 2.62 lakh quintals of paddy as levy from rice mills. Till February 7, 2.41 lakh quintals has been collected. Under procurement from farmers, 3,49,701 quintals have been purchased and the farmers have been paid Rs 22 crore. They need to be paid Rs 33.5 crore for the produce procured so far. Mandya taluk leads with 1,12,192 quintals of paddy procurement. The farmers are still bringing in their produce, said Deputy Director for Food and Civil Supplies Vrushabharajendra Murthy.

All the 62 godowns, belonging to the State government, in the district are full. Private rice mills were being used for storing paddy. But, the rice mills would run out of space within a couple of days, forcing the authorities concerned to change the location of the procurement centres often. So, the waiting time for farmers also increased, with escalation in the cost of transportation, as the trucks charged waiting charges, Murthy said.

In view of avoiding inconvenience to farmers, the procurement process has been temporarily stalled, he added.

However, farmers said, the move of the KFCSC has given way to another problem as small farmers do not have adequate space to store their produce.

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