“We started harvesting two varieties of paddy namely HKR 47 and HKR 206 some two weeks ago. But governmental agencies have turned up to purchase the crop only after we highlighted delays in procurement this week, said farmer Ratan Singh Randhawa, who heads the Jamhuri Kissan Sabha, a farmer lobby in headquartered in Amritsar.
“Despite unexpected changes in weather conditions, the yield of the crop is good this time around. But negligence on the part of government agencies has put us in losses -- private traders bought grains from farmers at lower prices leading to the losses”, said Randhawa.
“Procurement delays can damage stored food grains”, Randhawa said.
“The government has not announced the Minimum Suppport Price (MSP) for the other variety of paddy crop such as 1121. This crop will be harvested in November. The government never announces a MSP for it, said farmer Satnam Singh Pannu, based in the Raiyya village, on the outskirts of Amritsar
“The stategovernment is against farmers and wants to help the traders.We have been protesting against the anti-farmerpolicies of the state government and will continue to do so until our demands are met”, said Pannu.
The 1121 paddy crop is the best variety of Basmati crop and is exported to the gulf countries. “The state government should not only announce an MSP for it, but it should also allow us to export this variety to Pakistan,” Pannu said.