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Red gram farmers taken for a ride

Red gram farmers taken for a ride
Highlights

Jogipet (Sangareddy): Farmers coming to the red gram procurement centre started by TS Markfed (Telangana State Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited) at Jogipet Agricultural Market Yard on Tuesday were taken for a ride by brokers who hardly allowed any purchase to take place at the Markfed counter.

Jogipet (Sangareddy): Farmers coming to the red gram procurement centre started by TS Markfed (Telangana State Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited) at Jogipet Agricultural Market Yard on Tuesday were taken for a ride by brokers who hardly allowed any purchase to take place at the Markfed counter.

Though the Minimum Support Price (MSP) announced by the State government is Rs 5,050 per quintal (Rs 4,625 MSP + Rs 425 bonus), farmers are being paid only Rs 3,200 and Rs 3,400 by brokers who have taken the procurement centre literally under siege.

There is hardly a quintal of red gram purchased by Markfed officials on Wednesday.

Farmers sold about 200 quintals to brokers because there were no Markfed officials present to procure the farm produce.

Agricultural officers had to be present as proxies to make up for the absence of Markfed officials.

Each farmer lost Rs 1,500 because of selling to middlemen as Markfed failed to purchase their produce.

Measurement devices were also pushed to a corner in the procurement centre on Wednesday.

Srinivas, Agricultural Officer, told this reporter that he was there only because no Markfed official was overseeing the procurement process.

There are rumours doing rounds that Markfed officials are working hand-in-glove with the brokers, hence allowing them to have a field day.

Chander, a farmer from Salavatpur in Kowdipally mandal, who had come to sell his red gram crop at the market, said proper awareness was not created among farmers about the State government purchasing their produce through Markfed.

“This is the time for us to transplant our paddy crop. It is too difficult for us to get money from banks or other sources these days. If this is what we get from our crop, how can we sustain?” he asked.

As there was no bill book available, farmers were being given receipts on white papers. No arrangements were made for farmers who came to sell red gram in the market.

At least one lorry from Maharashtra was at the market to transport the produce to Maharashtra, without paying any taxes.

All this is allegedly happening right under the nose of Irrigation and Marketing Minister T Harish Rao, who has been telling the farmers time and again to sell their produce only at Markfed procurement centres.

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