Red gram farmers in lurch as Markfed delays payment

Red gram farmers in lurch as Markfed delays payment

Mahbubnagar: The red gram farmers in Mahbubnagar district are facing tough time as they are relentlessly making rounds around the Markfed and the procurement centres to get their money for the produce they sold to the traders through the procurement centres in the district. 

Earlier, the State government had established procurement centres at various market yards to procure red gram from farmers though Markfed. As many as 26,000 farmers have sold more than 5.37 lakh bags of red gram weighing 26,800 metric tonnes through the procurement centres to the government, for which the State government has to pay an amount of Rs 157 crore to the farmers. 

However, even though four months have been passed, the Markfed officials and the government authorities have failed to clear the pending dues for the farmers because of which a majority of farmers are facing tough time and are worried that interest for their debts was increasing. 

“I had invested Rs 50,000 to sow red gram over an extent of 5 acres. However due to no timely rains and infestation of pests, this time the yield of red gram crop has come down drastically. As against 25 bags last year, we could not even reap 6 to 7 bags this year and faced heavy losses. On the top of this, the Markfed authorities are delaying by not clearing our payments on time. 

The interest on our debts has been increasing for the last four months. We request the government to direct the market officials concerned to immediately clear the pending dues and save us from further losses,” said Ramchander, a farmer from Shankarayapally Tanda of Jadcherla Mandal in Mahbubnagar district. 

According to officials of Markfed, as against a total dues of Rs 157 crore, the government had recently sanctioned Rs 85 crore, of this the Markfed authorities in the district have paid only Rs 65 crore dues to about 12,000 red gram farmers. There are still 14,000 farmers in the district who are every day making rounds around the market department officials to clear their dues. 

In Narayanpet mandal, the District Consumer Services of Marketing department authorities had procured 87,759 bags of red gram from the farmers. While in the remaining 12 procurement centres of Devarkadra, Gandid, Kosgi, Teelaru, Narva and others, the Markfed authorities had procured red gram from the farmers in Mahbubnagar district. 

According to Markfed officials, the main reason for delay in payment to the farmers is due to delay in release of adequate funds from the government. In addition to this, some farmers have not submitted their bank and land passbooks correctly. This is also causing delay in clearing the pending dues. 

“We are trying to ensure all the dues are cleared as early as possible. As and when the funds are released from the government we will try to deposit the amount into the farmers accounts and very soon hoping to clear all the dues,” said Ranjit Reddy, District Manager, Markfed, Mahbubnagar. 

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