Gangavathi paddy farmers make hay as demand surges

Gangavathi paddy farmers make hay as demand surges

The farmers in Gangavathi taluk, known as ‘paddy bowl’ are laughing all the way to the bank, thanks to the surge in demand for Sona Masuri variety of rice.

The rice traders from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are making a beeline to Gangavathi for purchasing Sona and Sona Masuri varieties of rice. Following the demand, there has been a marginal rise in the price of paddy to Rs 1,540 for a sack of 75 kg.

Paddy is grown on 36,155 hectares in Gangavathi taluk and the crop on only 7,500 hectares (20 per cent of the total area under cultivation) has been harvested till now. Standing crop on 28,294 hectares is yet to be harvested and even before that the traders from neighbouring states have been contacting the farmers through middlemen.
So much so that even before harvesting the farmers are virtually selling their crop. A local trader said that they were unable to compete with the price offered by those from neighbouring states.

A majority of the crops have been destroyed in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh due to recent rains. Hence, the rice traders from these two states are purchasing paddy paying a higher price, farmers said.

High yield

“A maximum of 35 to 38 quintals of paddy is grown per acre. Accordingly, the paddy yield this time is expected to be 28 lakh quintals. The paddy business turnover in the taluk is about Rs 6,000 core,” said Assistant Director of Agriculture Department, Jambanna Aigi.

Krishna Naik, a farmer, said that till three days ago, a quintal of Sona Masuri rice was priced between Rs 3,800 and Rs 4,200 per quintal. With the traders from neighbouring states vying to purchase the crop, the price has increased to Rs 5,000 per quintal.

The price may even cross Rs 7,000 per quintal, given the demand.
He said that the farmers in the command area of Tungabhadra reservoir cannot grow any crops for the next eight months since thee is no water in the dam for irrigation purpose, he added.

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