Farmers resorting to distress selling as procurement has not started: SAD
Chandigarh, September 28, 2023: Shiromanil Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today demanded the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government start procurement of paddy immediately, saying lakhs of bags of early varieties of paddy had arrived in the mandis but were not being procured.
In a statement here, the SAD president said farmers had planted early varieties of paddy including PR-126 at the instance of the government and that procurement should be started immediately instead of October 1 as scheduled. He said early procurement would also give farmers time to manage the paddy stubble which would drastically reduce instances of stubble burning.
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal said it was condemnable that chief minister Bhagwant Mann had not taken heed of repeated demands of farmers as well as commission agents to prepone the procurement season. “This is forcing farmers to sell short with private players purchasing paddy at prices between Rs 1700 to Rs 1800 per quintal against the minimum support price of Rs 2,203 per quintal.
Asserting that a large amount of paddy had already come to mandis in Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ropar, Rajpura, Banur, Khanna and Lalru, Mr Badal said “farmers have reported that no arrangements have been made in the mandis till now”. He said farmers were also complaining of lack of storage spaces and well as unavailability of gunny bags.
The SAD president said it was condemnable that farmers had been encouraged to plant early varieties of paddy but had not been left to their fate. “This is reminiscent of the earlier promise made by the chief minister that the State government would procure their moong crop which had also been belied with State agencies only procuring ten per cent of the total moong crop coming to mandis in the State”.
Asserting that farmers were being given a raw deal in the AAP dispensation, Mr Badal also called for immediate release of compensation to all farmers whose paddy crop had been destroyed in the floods in July. “It is unfortunate that the girdawari process for the same has not been completed”, he said while adding that compensation for crops damaged last year was also awaited.