State may face shortage in rice as TN traders lure Ch'nagar farmers

State may face shortage in rice as TN traders lure Ch'nagar farmers

The traders of Tamil Nadu, who have bagged contracts for the supply of rice to fair price shops in their State, have been making a beeline to Chamarajanagar district for purchasing paddy.

As a result, farmers of the district have stopped selling their produce at the paddy procurement centres that have been opened in the district.

As open transportation is permitted across the country, it has turned a boon for the traders of the neigbouring State, who are purchasing paddy in bulk at Rs 1,150 per quintal, by paying cash on the spot, according to officials of Food and Civil Supplies department.

With the Tamil Nadu traders purchasing paddy directly from the farmers, there are possibilities that the government may face short supply of rice for its ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme.

The prices fixed by the government has not attracted the farmers. The Centre had fixed the rates at Rs 1,600 per quintal, last year.

This year, the price of regular variety of paddy has been fixed at Rs 1,360 per quintal, and Rs 1,400 for ‘A’ grade paddy, with no incentive from the Centre. This is also one of the reasons for the farmers not willing to approach procurement centres. Ragi is priced at Rs 2,000 per quintal, and maize at Rs 1,300 per quintal.

The procurement centres have been operating since December 22. While only 175 quintals of paddy has been purchased so far, the sale of ragi and maize are yet to begin. Last year, the government had purchased about 60,000 quintals of paddy.

Middlemen
Deputy Director of the department of Food and Civil Supplies P Sambaiah told Deccan Herald that as open marketing and transportation was permissible, no action could be taken against the TN traders.

He appealed to the farmers not to get lured by the middlemen, and sell their produce at the procurement centres.
As some of the farmers have not harvested paddy at Kollegal and surrounding areas, it is expected that the purchase would begin after Sankranti festival, he added.
DH News Service

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