Hyderabad: Farmers raise a stink over rice millers cartel's wrongdoings

Hyderabad: Farmers raise a stink over rice millers cartels wrongdoings
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Paddy Transport
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Farmers in a part of Jagtial, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Peddapalli and parts of Nalgonda stage protests alleging four to five kilograms of paddy are being collected in excess for every 40 kilograms of paddy bag

Hyderabad: State Agriculture Department is in the dock following growing allegations of rice millers forming into cartels and collecting excess paddy in the name of chaffy, moisturiser content and substandard paddy. At a time when the paddy procurement started picking up a brisk pace, farmers in a part of Jagtial, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Peddapalli and parts of Nalgonda have staged protests alleging four to five kilograms of paddy is being collected in excess for every 40 kilograms of paddy bag.

Speaking to The Hans India, Raghavendra from Tekumatla of old Chitayala mandal of Warangal said so far the IKP procurement has not yet started in our mandal. But, farmers are worried about what they hear from their counterparts from Karimnagar, Pedapally and other districts. "For every 40 kgs of standards paddy bag weighed at the procurment centres the farmers will have to given an additional five kilograms. Reason being, the 40 kgs bag of paddy contains substandard, moisturiser content and chaffy paddy."

Expressing similar view Sai Shankar from Karimnagar said there seems no one who could prevail over the rice millers. To stop them from taking extra quantities of paddy from the farmers to make good of what they call substandard rice given for procurement. "This is despite the rice millers were cautioned earlier by the ministers and the officials in the district," he added.

For example, a farmer in Jagtial has to forgo about 8.5 quintals of paddy at a rice mill for a load of 800 bags. However, neither agriculture officials nor anyone is interfering to prevent rice millers from taking additional quantities of paddy, Shankar said. However, M Venkateswarlu, president of Miryalaguda Rice Millers Association, said that the problem is not much in Nalgonda district. Adding, "For every 40 kgs standard paddy bag an additional 650 grams are collected as per the existing rules. Because the millers who have taken paddy will have to give back 68 per cent of rice to the government against every bag of paddy procured.

He said if any farmer has a genuine grievance he can contact the local agriculture officer. In turn, they will test the quality of paddy before giving to procurement and take necessary action against the erring millers.

However, he noted that the miller had also faced a similar problem on an earlier occasion. "We had to give 68 per cent of rice against every bag procured but when we had conducted test milling the rice output was only 62 per cent. On other occasions, it was 65 per cent. Against this backdrop, the State government had given one per cent relaxation in the quantity of rice that the millers have to give to the State government. But, the orders were cancelled immediately citing an objection raised by the Comptroller and Auditor Generals office, he said.

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