Punjab farmers forced to sell paddy at less price to private traders

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Chandigarh, Sep. 25 (ANI): In the absence of government procurement, paddy farmers in Punjab are selling their produce at lesser price to private traders.

"The government should buy our produce at their prices, which are better. The private agencies are giving us much lesser rates," said Sarwan Singh, a farmer.

The private traders are offering around 800 to 950 rupees per quintal where as the government offers a minimum support price of 980 rupees per quintal.

Procurement by government agencies is likely to start on October 1, but the farmers think it is too late as the paddy crop is ready and the next crop needs to be sown on time.

Farmers say that procurement should begin by September 15.

"The government rate is 980 rupees per quintal, whereas the private agencies are giving much less than that. The government should start buying by September 15, so that the farmers can get better rates," said Kulwinder Singh, another farmer.

Also, due to a delayed monsoon, farmers had to spend more to cultivate paddy. They had to incur extra cost owed to using generators for irrigation.

"The government should start buying at least 15 to 20 days earlier. If the government buys early, the farmers will sell it off early and the fields will be free and other crops can be sown on time, which otherwise gets delayed," says Inder Singh Sandhu, former president grain broker association, Amritsar.

According to sources the Punjab Government is set to procure 140 lakh (1.4 million) metric tonnes paddy for the central pool during current Kharif season against 132.17 lakh metric tonnes last year. (ANI)

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