Hike in support price of ragi prompts good sales in Mandya

While the paddy procurement centres in the district have failed to attract farmers due to reduction in purchase prices, the centres procuring ragi are however doing good business, with the sales having doubled, compared to the previous year.

Last year, 5.41 lakh quintals of paddy was purchased, but this year, the figures stood at 1.74 lakh quintals up to February. But surprisingly, while, 75,000 quintals of ragi was purchased last year, this year, 1.73 lakh quintals was recorded.

Ironically, not a quintal of maize or jowar has been purchased till date. There are 12 procurement centres in the district, and the government has to pay Rs 59 crore to the farmers for the purchase of paddy and ragi.

M L Panchegowda, District Manager, Food and Civil Supplies Corporation said that the State government had already released Rs 28 crore and bills up to February 22 had been settled. A proposal had been sent to the government seeking funds to settle the pending bills, he said.

Farmers anxious

The slash in procurement prices of paddy from Rs 1,600 last year to Rs 1,350 per quintal this year has left the farmers worried. One of the farmers, Nagaraju, stated that the agricultural expenses remains the same, and the government’s move to reduce the prices would land the farmers in trouble.

But the open market price is still less, and the paddy is being purchased at Rs 1,000 per quintal. Those who had taken up cultivation of paddy are forced to sell it at a lower price to avoid debts, Nagaraju said. Some of them had stored their paddy, hoping of a better price in future, he added. 

Good sale of ragi

The government, which had fixed Rs 1,800 support price for ragi per quintal has raised it to Rs 2,000 for the current year. Hence, a large number of farmers are queueing up at the procurement centres to sell their yield for a good price. Farmer leaders opined that though they have been demanding Rs 2,000 per quintal of paddy, the government had not considered it. If this continues, the farmers growing paddy will be left in a  lurch, they said.

Taluk wise details

The amount of paddy procured in taluks so far is, 1,74,301 quintal and ragi - 1,73,173 quintal.  The taluk wise details are Mandya (paddy 34,189 quintal; ragi 47,520); Maddur (46,852 and 18,599); Malavalli (17,477 and 12,840); Srirangapatna (37,602 and 24,222); Pandavapura (22,390 and 13,868); K R Pet (22,312 and 40,584) and Nagamangala (3,473 and 15,537).

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