Kakinada: Farmers stare at huge loss as government refuses to pay full MSP

Officials inspecting purchase of the discoloured paddy from farmers
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Officials inspecting purchase of the discoloured paddy from farmers

Highlights

The incessant heavy rains have damaged crops resulting in discolouring of paddy more than the permitted level in the East Godavari district

Kakinada: The incessant heavy rains have damaged crops resulting in discolouring of paddy more than the permitted level in the East Godavari district. If the discolouration exceeds more than five per cent, the farmers will not be paid the Minimum Support Price (MSP). They will get graded MSP depending on the percentage which is less than the MSP.

Recently, the Central team had visited the paddy fields and inspected the condition of the crops. The Central team officials were also shocked at the change in colour of paddy and discoloured grains owing to the heavy rains in the district. They felt that they had never seen in the past such damage and they would recommend to the Central government about the compensation.

District Collector D Muralidhar Reddy urged the farmers not to depend on middlemen as the government has taken necessary steps to help the farmers who have lost their crops due to successive disasters. He said that from June to November, something catastrophic happened and affected the crops and yields.

The losses up to October were enumerated and the input subsidy was credited directly to the farmers' accounts. He said that the rains in October and November during the harvest season have affected the quality of the grain, including discoloration and sprouting. The Paddy Purchase Control Room has been set up in the Collectorate. "We are making effective use of the Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBK) and resolving any issue with the farmers regarding the sale of grain as soon as we receive a phone call," he said.

Muralidhar Reddy said that about 42 lakh metric tonnes of grain had changed colour and special measures had been taken to procure this grain from farmers as well. He said the district administration would give the support to farmers in any difficult situation.

Joint Collector Dr G Lakshmisha visited several paddy fields in the district and examined the damaged paddy. He said that paddy purchasing centres will buy the paddy at graded MSP and allow up to five per cent moisture. If the discolour percentage is registered at six percent, the paddy prices in MSP will be reduced by five percent. The MSP price will be reduced when the discolouration is increased. He said that farmers need not worry about the selling of the discoloured paddy as they can sell paddy in Paddy Purchasing Centres.

He said that paddy would be given to Custom Milling Rice and to Food Corporation of India. They procured 6 lakh metric tonnes of grain from 13,259 farmers and started making payments of about Rs 9 crore.

Amalapuram Sub-Collector Himanshu Kaushik inspected the process of purchasing grain from farmers in Amalapuram Rural division and interacted with the farmers.

The farmers showed the discoloured and sprouted grain to the Sub-Collector. He said the government would give five to ten per cent relaxation in the case of purchase of discoloured grain. Kaushik said that the farmers should dry and store the germinated grain, which is also collected by the government. If there is any doubt about the purchase of discoloured and sprouted grain, the farmers can call 8886613611, he said.

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