Distress sale of paddy in Telangana

Distress sale of paddy in Telangana

Delay in procurement process, unseasonal rains

Hyderabad/ Nizamabad: With the delay in starting paddy procurement by the state government and the threat of untimely rains that may damage the crop, beleaguered farmers have been selling paddy at low prices to traders from Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The farmers, including those from Nizamabad district, are selling the crop for less than the MSP. Even the fine rice variety paddy is also being sold at a lesser rate. The MSP for this variety is Rs 2,000 while the normal variety is Rs 1,960.

Nizamabad farmers shared with The Hans India that they have been waiting for over a week to sell paddy at the procurement centres. But as they were non-functional till now. Wherever they were opened there were no gunny bags, hamali workers and lorry transportation. With the weather department predicting unseasonal rains, the farmers were restoring to distress sale.

Azad, a farmer from Bodhan, said that there is no option but to sell the paddy at distressed price to avoid any risk. The fine rice variety 1010 produced from Nizamabad district is in high demand in many states as the quality is good for regular consumption. The farmers also said that the government had said that it would first procure coarse variety. Farmers were also not sure the government would provide MSP to their produce in case the crops were damaged in unseasonal rains.

In the backdrop of this, commission agents were inviting paddy and rice traders from other states to buy paddy at lower price from the districts. "Traders from Karnataka and Rajasthan buy paddy from the middlemen and process the rice in the local rice mills before exporting to their native states," said a farm expert.

Consumption of rice in north Indian states was increasing fast in the recent years. The coarse rice is being used to manufacture snacks and flour which is to be used for making idli, dosa and used in other food items.

Paddy farmers in Nalgonda, Karimnagar and Warangal also bore the brunt of the government's protracted delay in the procurement process. Farmers' associations allege that the millers and agents colluded in the entire episode and left the farmers in the lurch. They allege that the local authorities were not making available the basic infrastructure facilities at the centres and continue to delay purchase of paddy.

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